Despite announcing its first-ever quarterly loss as a public company on Tuesday, Chipotle said recent deals for free burritos and other promotions are helping to lure customers back to its restaurants after a series of food-borne illness incidents. And now, Chipotle is taking its comeback efforts a step further by introducing a customer loyalty program and new menu items as soon as this summer.
Chipotle execs revealed the plans during the company's quarterly earnings call, saying a rewards program for loyal customers, all-new menu items, and additional food deals will help boost same-store sales, which were down a staggering 29.7% in the first three months of 2016. Not only is this great news if you love eating the chain's burritos and scoring free food, it's also a dramatic shift for a place that's never offered a loyalty program and rarely changes its simple menu of burritos, bowls, tacos, and salads.
"[W]e are exploring a limited-time frequency incentive designed to reward our most loyal customers for eating frequently at Chipotle this coming summer," Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's Chief Creative and Development Officer, said on the call. "Additionally, we are considering adding menu items that will appeal to our loyal or lapsed customers."
Although Crumpacker declined to provide details on how the loyalty program might work and what rewards you can expect to earn, he did reveal one of what are perhaps several new menu items the company is preparing for a national launch: chorizo. That's right, the chorizo option Chipotle teased last summer in a small test market could soon land at your local Chipotle. Hell yes.