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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chipotle introduces a loyalty program, sort of

I have always been a big fan of both Chipotle and Costco and have written about both on a number of occasions in the past (no I do not own stock in either company). Chipotle has been doing a lot to try to restore consumer confidence in their brand since the whole E. coli outbreaks earlier this year and have been handing out free food like candy in past promotions. I received a text the other day informing me about a new loyalty program they are launching called "Chiptopia" starting July 1st although this seems to be a limited promotion extending through the end of September.

Full details of this limited time promotion can be found here:

Here are the basic details of the program. Basically you are rewarded with a free entree for every 4th purchase totaling $6 or more and you earn "status" of either mild=4 purchases, medium=8 purchases, or hot =11 purchases which can lead to additional bonus awards if you maintain status for all 3 months. There are a few small details that make this program a little confusing. First, you must be 13 years old to participate which will likely apply to anyone reading this. Also, your free entrees for earning "status" will credit to your account within 24 hours and will expire after 30 days so make sure you don't forget to use them. However, these purchases will not count towards accruing higher status so keep that in mind. The only exception is that the mild and medium bonus rewards expire on December 31, 2016 and the hot status bonus reward (catering for 20) expires on March 31, 2017 so that gives you a little bit of time to redeem. Finally, your status resets the end of each month.

Bottom Line

This program is a little confusing in that it is only for a limited time, has a lot of stipulations, and doesn't reward you if you make any additional purchases beyond the 11 required to achieve "hot" status each month although if you think about it that means you are eating at Chipotle almost every other day if you take into account the redemptions you are also using for earning mild, medium, and hot status. The best way to maximize this promotion is if you are a true Chipotle enthusiast and reach "hot" status all 3 months to earn the hot status bonus reward of catering for 20. You are basically buying 33 burritos over the 3 months to earn 29 free burritos (20 bonus reward + 3 each month for earning mild/medium/hot status). Again, this equates to eating a total of 62 burritos in a 90 day period so you must really love Chipotle to achieve this goal.

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