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Chipotle Fans Rejoice: "Chiptopia" Rewards Program Launches Friday

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG - Free Report) announced its latest program to get customers back into its restaurant Monday with the “Chiptopia” Summer Rewards Program to launch on Friday. The latest initiative comes after the company has already had offers like free chips and guac and buy-one-get-one burritos that still couldn’t save the company from posting a loss in its most recent quarter in addition to falling sales numbers.

The program will officially begin on Friday, July 1st, when Chipotle stores nationwide will begin offering the Chiptopia membership cards to customers. The program is unlike most other loyalty programs from restaurants, as it is temporary, only going from July to September this year. Rewards are earned in a different way too, as instead of earnings points for purchases customers can earn free entrees based on how many times they buy a meal above $6 within a month.

There are three levels of status customers can reach in Mild, Medium, and Hot. The first free entrée one can earn is at the Mild level, which comes from eating at Chipotle 4 times within a month. Medium is earned at 8 meals in a month, and Hot is earned with 11 purchases. Meals purchased don’t roll over to the following month though, as a member’s number of meals goes back to 0 at the beginning of a new month. Also, there is a maximum of one visit, or purchase of above $6, per customer per day, so buying multiple entrees doesn’t add to one’s total.

Also, if a customer can receive bonus rewards if they earn the same rewards level for all three months that the program is scheduled to run. 3 months of Mild is another free entrée, $20 of free Chipotle merchandise for Medium, and catering for 20 if one is able to earn the Hot level for all three months.

Bottom Line

Chiptopia marks the first time Chipotle has launched such a rewards program in its nearly 23-year history. Executives brought the idea up during the company’s latest earnings call, but it is now official. The company is hoping another initiative like this will help to bring customers back after food-safety scares sent many away from the chain.

Chipotle is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and its stock is down nearly 20% thus far in 2016. Though its other initiatives have driven some interest, this rewards program could be a major catalyst for the company heading into the second half of the year. If Chipotle can get back on track and turn its business around, it could become the major growth stock that it once was again and fall back into investors good graces again.

Read: How Chipotle (CMG - Free Report) Stock Can Get Its Groove Back

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