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Chipotle tweaks its loyalty program to offer even more redemption options

Chipotle tweaks its loyalty program to offer even more redemption options

June 23, 2021: -On Tuesday, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the first significant upgrade to its loyalty program since it was launched two years.

Chipotle Rewards members will be able to redeem their points for more rewards across its whole menu and more quickly. For example, just visiting Chipotle restaurant twice is enough for free chips. Additionally, members can redeem their points to support nonprofit partners of Chipotle, such as the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Points took more time to earn and could go only toward a free entree before. Members earned 10 points for every $1 they spend in the restaurant, online, or the app.

Like McDonald’s and Restaurant Brands International’s Popeyes, the changes come as other restaurant chains create their programs to hold onto the digital customers the companies gained in the pandemic. Loyalty programs can complete more frequent visits, higher average checks, and offer restaurants valuable insights about consumers.

Starbucks made similar tweaks to its loyalty program in 2019. In the three quarters, after the coffee giant’s revamped, it added 3.1 million loyalty members, up 15% from a year before.

Since Chipotle Rewards debuted, it adds 22.9 million consumers to its ranks. The burrito chain has quickly built its membership by enlisting users automatically of its mobile app to the program. In addition, the surge of digital orders in the pandemic helped further expand membership. In the first quarter, online sales overtook in-person orders for the first time.

“The last year has been abnormal in terms of purchasing behavior of people and what they’re doing, but we do see that when someone joins our rewards program, we can understand what their behavior was before they joined and their behavior after,” said Curt Garner, the chief technology officer of Chipotle.

Chipotle has made a racing video game that will go live for 48 hours, starting from Wednesday at 12:01 p.m. ET to promote the changes. The top eligible scorer will be the winner of a 2021 Tesla Model 3, and the rest of the players in the top 10 on the leaderboard will get an electric bike or electric skateboard.

The shares of Chipotle have risen nearly 3% this year, giving it a market value of $40.16 billion.

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