Chipotle Launches its New Loyalty Program in 2019

by Bistriti Poddar |

Chipotle Launches its New Loyalty Program in 2019

Chipotle Mexican Grill, a Denver-based Mexican food chain, was founded in 1993. For all these years, the brand’s mission statement is to serve food with integrity, and its vision is to cultivate a better world with every rolled burrito. While the brand is known for simple, fresh fast-food items without artificial flavors or fillers, it aims to use high-quality ingredients, classic cooking techniques, and distinctive interior design to attract a large audience base. Chipotle follows a typical Mexican menu and a restaurant theme that includes items like burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, salads, and a variety of beverages at an affordable price. Other than providing their customers with Mexican flavors, Chipotle has fast-casual program techniques where its customers can order food online, through mobile apps and websites. These services allowed the brand to recognize their loyal customers, the behavior and buying patterns of the customers, and helped them strategize new marketing techniques.

Obviously, to encourage customers and to maintain the product’s or brand’s steep growth as a part of the product cycle, Chipotle needed more. Therefore, as a part of increasing the base of loyal customers, it introduced the Chipotle loyalty program. Now, what is the Chipotle loyalty program?

The Chipotle loyalty program or the Chipotle Rewards program was launched in the first quarter of 2019, two years after its Chiptopia experiment loyalty program in 2016.

In the Chipotle Rewards program, the customers receive 10 points for 1 dollar that they spend when they collect orders in-person. On the other hand, enrollees who order online via the app or directly from the website earn 15 points. Once a customer earns 1250 points, they get a free entree. It’s a straightforward point-based loyalty program that offers customers points for each dollar they spend eating at Chipotle. In this reward system, members also receive a gift on their birthday, and this food chain runs events like bonus points that gives the customers a chance to earn free food faster.

In simpler terms, in this brand’s marketing strategy, mobile optimization is the fundamental strategy for higher customer strategy. Deloitte Digital, which consulted Chipotle on the app development previously, said diners spend 13% more at fast-casual chains like Chipotle while ordering online. What are the other advantages the Chipotle Rewards Program possesses?

  1. Undoubtedly after the launch of this program, the brand has witnessed higher sales than ever.
  2. The new loyalty program provides a full digital experience to its users. It opens a two-way communication door between the brand and its audience. The growth in sales of Chipotle via digital means shows the success of the brand. As per statistics, the sales by digital orders account for half a billion-dollar. That means there is a 42% increase in digital orders compared to the previous year.
  3. Launching loyalty programs prove to be beneficial for all brands and businesses. Chipotle’s new reward loyalty program is easy to understand. It is a simplified point-based structure that is highly valued by the customers and does wonders for the business as well. In fact, the program accumulated 1 million enrolments in the first week and 7 million within the next seven months.
  4. It uses mobile technology to increase customer engagement and loyalty, allowing its customers to earn points to get free food or other perks by tracking every dollar spent.

This program accounts for one of the most successful and promising loyalty programs where it aims to drive sales, reinforce and elaborate strongly on the brand message and the promises made to customers. However, there are some drawbacks of this loyalty program like:

  1. This type of loyalty program is a commonly strategized program. It can sometimes have an unstable economic impact on the brand because the competitors might offer extra to their customers.
  2. Loyalty programs should be exclusive and aim to increase customer engagement. This reward system rewards all types of customers, from frequent to high-spend customers. Here, the high-spend customers would not feel special and find it unworthy of spending more on a brand that fails to recognize their loyal customers.
  3. This reward system is a way to collect customer data, increase customer engagement, drive summer sales, and convert customers into loyal customers. However, in such short-termed programs, the benefits are short-lived.

“Similar to how we build restaurants where people live and work, we want to have a presence in all of the places our customers spend time digitally,” Curt Garner, chief digital and information officer at Chipotle said in a statement. “Chipotle Rewards is another access point for consumers, a way for guests to engage with our promise of real ingredients prepared fresh daily and a way for us to say thank you for joining our mission of cultivating a better world.”

[White Paper]
[White Paper]