For all the pain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) caused investors, it inflicted that ten-fold on its customers, of whom hundreds were sickened during norovirus and E.coli outbreaks across the country.
To repent, Chipotle gave away around $40 million in free burritos, which hasn’t quite helped the Chipotle stock price. And now it’s hoping to lure customers back into its stores with a summertime rewards program.
The program — called “Chipotopia” — begins July 1 and runs through September. As stated in the press release, Chiptopia is not your “typical rewards program.” Instead customers earn points based on visits, rather than dollar amounts spent.
Chief Creative and Development Officer at Chipotle Mark Crumpacker cites the program’s mission as “reward[ing] our most loyal customers who continue to support our efforts to cultivate a better world.”
The three status levels within Chiptopia are “Mild,” “Medium” and “Hot.” Four visits with a “qualifying purchase” of $6 or more before tax earns you your first free entree and “Mild” status, with a total of nine free entrees possible over the course of three months (as well as a $240 “Catering for 20” bonus).
Those interested in participating must simply waltz into any U.S. Chipotle restaurant to pick up a Chiptopia card. In each month, your fourth, eighth and eleventh visit earns a free entree.
But don’t try to speed up the process by eating out at Chipotle for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as (besides being really unhealthy for you) only a single visit a day counts toward your rewards.
While the CMG stock price saw a healthy pop Friday as the rest of the market ran for cover, Chipotle shares are down more than 1% as of Monday afternoon. That could be the result of the “Brexit” vote hitting CMG stock, however.
Any indication that Chipotle’s brand is regaining strength will be good news for Chipotle stock holders later in the year, but this will not have an effect on CMG’s July 21 earnings.