Chipotle rewards program follows Starbucks strategy
is rolling out a new rewards program in hopes of boosting sales.
On Monday, the fast-casual chain it is rolling out a new loyalty program — Chipotle Rewards — in three test markets: Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City (both in Missouri and Kansas); and Columbus, Ohio. Chipotle Rewards will launch nationally in 2019.
The rewards program is similar to that of other chains, such as Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, that award a certain number of points for each dollar spent. Members can earn 10 points for every spent, with customers cashing in for a free entrée when they reach 1,250 points.
Chipotle Rewards represents a larger effort from the burrito chain to better use technology to grow sales. Chipotle has continued to struggle to rebuild sales to the levels it saw prior to its E. coli outbreak nearly three years ago.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
In April, Chipotle launched a partnership with DoorDash. The chain has been pushing for customers to download its app with incentives such as free guacamole and tweaking the format of stores to better fit the needs of customers picking up mobile orders. Chipotle is even testing drive-thrus exclusively for mobile order at a handful of locations.
"Chipotle Rewards is a critical part of our efforts to digitize and modernize the restaurant experience," Curt Garner, chief digital and information officer at Chipotle, said in a statement.
While rewards programs have an obvious benefit of building customer loyalty, the increasingly digital nature of the programs gives chains even more reasons to encourage people to sign up, as it allows companies to gather more data on customers.
In a statement, Chipotle said that the rewards program "also includes a highly sophisticated, hyper personalized CRM program running behind the scenes which allows for targeted communication to drive trial, menu exploration and brand affinity."
Starbucks has been an industry pioneer in digital rewards programs.
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