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Ryan McQueeney

Chipotle's Rewards Program Results in $20 Million of Free Catering


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A lot of people are about to get a lot of free food from Chipotle (CMG - Analyst Report) . As the fast-casual Mexican chain’s summer rewards program wraps up, the company has announced that 85,000 qualified for its highest loyalty prize: free catering.

The “Chiptopia” rewards program was launched in July as an effort to get customers back into Chipotle restaurants after same-store sales growth slumped in the wake of the company’s food safety scandal. Each month, customers were urged to reach the “Mild,” “Medium,” or “Hot” levels of rewards.

It took four entrée purchases to reach each level, which resulted in another free entrée. However, the real goal was to reach the same level for three consecutive months in order to unlock another prize. If you reached the “Hot” level three months in a row, you won free catering for 10 people.

According to a company spokesman, about 85,000 people reached the “Hot” level all three months. For those doing the math, that’s 36 visits to Chipotle over that time period.

Chipotle’s catering for 10 has a value of about $240, which means that Chipotle will be giving out about $20 million worth of free food as a result of the Chiptopia program. That number may seem huge, but it’s just a small price to pay if the program helps reinvigorate Chipotle customers.

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