Chipotle Lures Customers Back With Free Burritos That Don’t Make Them Sick

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

What’s the best way to prove to the American public that your food won’t make them sick? Convince them to try your food again, and don’t make them sick. That’s been Chipotle’s recovery plan, and it’s working pretty well. In addition to serving up raincheck burritos (in exchange for capturing your phone number) the company also sent out coupons offering free entrées, free sides, and free beverages to lure customers back. According to one firm’s research, this plan worked.

That information comes from Cowen and Company, a financial firm that provides information to investors. Their goal was to figure out how Chipotle is doing in advance of their quarterly results, which will be released tomorrow. They polled customers, comparing people who didn’t receive the coupons with people who did. At the beginning of April, customers who received coupons had visited a Chipotle an average of 3.8 times in the last month, while customers who didn’t receive any coupons visited an average of 1.4 times.

Once the crisis is over and Chipotle and E. coli are no longer synonymous in the public’s imagination, the chain’s priority will be to keep customers coming back without coupons, like they did before the foodborne illness crisis.

Chipotle giveaways may be key to recovery [CNBC]
Chipotle Deserves Another Chance [Wall Street Journal]