Chipotle offers rewards
In an effort to get more diners back in the door after food safety scares dramatically drove down sales, Chipotle is launching a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers.
The program, dubbed Chiptopia, starts Friday and lasts through the summer. It rewards customers based on the number of times they visit Chipotle. There are three levels: Mild, Medium and Hot. For four visits within a given month, customers will earn “Mild” status and a free burrito, bowl, salad or tacos. Eight will get Medium status and 11 will unlock the highest status, with each level triggering another free entree. The free meal also counts toward the number of entrees required for the next level.
The visit count restarts every month, and diners who reach reward status each summer month will get a final bonus. Customers who make four visits each month get an extra free entree at summer’s end. Achieving Medium status all three months gets a customer $20 in Chipotle merchandise. Customers with Hot status all three months will earn catering for 20 people.
The Denver company has mulled a loyalty program before as a way to win more customers. But the summerlong program does a lot more than that. Creating a loyalty program allows a restaurant chain to track purchases and identify its most valuable customers, said Kate Hogenson, a loyalty analyst at Kobie Marketing. That’s something Chipotle isn’t, in large part, now able to do.
“This is very obviously set up to be a test-andlearn strategy,” Hogenson said.