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Chipotle’s Frequent Diner Program: Chiptopia Summer Rewards

Chiptopia Summer Rewards

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. unveiled its Chiptopia Summer Rewards, a three-month-long frequent diner program that begins July 1, 2016. From July through September, customers participating in Chiptopia can earn free rewards simply by eating the food they already love.

Loyal customers are not only great for the revenue that they produce themselves, but also as unpaid marketers for their favorite restaurants. The vast majority of loyal customers say that they would recommend a restaurant to their friends or family. They do this because they like the service and the food that they receive while they are there.

Frequent Diner Rewards

Frequent diner programs are designed to reward specific purchase behavior:

  • Visit Multiple Day Parts: Repeat visits throughout the day. For example, getting a customer to come in for lunch as well as dinner.
  • Visit Multiple Days a Month: Get customers to dine more often at the restaurant. The goal is to create a “habit” of dining at the restaurant frequently.

Chipotle’s promotion is designed to reward diners for making multiple paid visits to Chipotle within a given month. Chiptopia Summer Rewards offers three different status levels: Mild, Medium and Hot.

Customers who achieve the same status level for three consecutive months in a row will be eligible for Bonus Rewards.

  • Achieving Mild status all three months earns one additional free entrée.
  • Achieving Medium status all three months earns $20 in Chipotle merchandise at store.chipotle.com.
  • Achieving Hot status all three months earns catering for 20 (a $240 value).

Four visits in a month, with a qualifying purchase during each, earns Mild status and a free entrée. Someone who achieves the Hot level in all three months can earn up to nine free entrées over the course of the rewards program, plus a $240 “Catering for 20” Bonus Reward.

  • To participate, customers can visit any U.S. Chipotle starting July 1 to pick up a Chiptopia card.
  • Customers then earn credit toward the various status levels for individual visits within the same month during which they spend a minimum of $6 before tax.
  • During each month of the program, a customer’s fourth, eighth and 11th visit and entrée purchase triggers a reward for one free entrée and elevates the customer to a new status level.
  • Redeemed rewards also count as a purchase toward reaching the next status level. Thus, customers purchase four entrées in any month of the program to earn Mild status; eight entrées (one of which can be the free entrée earned for the Mild level) to reach the Medium level; and 11 entrées (another one of which can be the free entrée earned in the Medium level) to unlock the Hot level.
  • At the end of each month, purchase totals reset to zero, and participants begin again the following month.
  • A maximum of one visit (with a purchase of $6 or more) per member, per day counts toward Chiptopia rewards. Purchasing multiple entrées on the same day does not earn additional rewards (for example, if a customer buys three meals at one time or in the same day it only counts for one visit, not three).

Customers who register for the program in July earn a free chips and guacamole with their first entrée purchase (of $6 or more, before tax) and will be eligible for special Bonus Rewards, available for redemption at the end of the promotion. Users are able to register at any point from July through September; however, the free chips and guacamole and Bonus Rewards are only available to those who join the program by July 31. Bonus Rewards are only available to those customers who achieve status levels all three months.

Rewards earned during Chiptopia expire 30 days after they are earned. Mild and Medium Bonus Rewards expire on Dec. 31, 2016 and the Hot Bonus Reward expires on March 31, 2017. The rewards program is valid in the U.S. only and cannot be combined with other coupons, promotions or special offers.

Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer at Chipotle, recognizes that this is a short-term promotion with very specific goals. “While Chiptopia Summer Rewards lasts just three months, we will be carefully listening to our customers and using what we learn as we consider the design of an ongoing rewards program, ” Mark said.

The real opportunity is for Chipotle to leverage the customer insight from the program to design a customer loyalty strategy that will engage, keep and grow profitable customer loyalty.

Sallie Burnett
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