Last fall, Chipotle Mexican Grill began testing a point-based system of rewards called 'Chipotle Rewards,' in an effort to make the brand more digitally innovative as well as accessible. The results are so positive that the company is now expanding its loyalty program nationwide, as its digital sales grew 66% in Q4 of 2018 accounting for nearly 13% of overall sales.
The rewards systems needs customers to enroll via the website or app, receiving 10 points for each dollar spent. Upon reaching 1,250 points, customers earn a free entrée. First time users will also earn free chips and guacamole and can accrue rewards online, in store or on the app.
As digital sales grew, the company deemed it fit to collaborate with Venmo, a digital wallet company, depositing surprise amounts of $1 to $500 in fan’s accounts through March 15. This will make Chipotle the first ever company whose presence will pop up in another company’s website or app, thereby sharing the payments. Phone numbers registered with Venmo account can be used to log in at ChipotleRewardMe.com.
Under the current CEO’s guidance, digital innovation has remained the company’s top priority. It has now dedicated kitchens for online orders with the app and delivery drivers so that customers receive their orders in the fastest time. It has also installed new pickup shelves for digital orders.
With customers increasingly going online these days, just having an app is not enough. The digital platform has much to be explored and Chipotle seems to be on the right track. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chipotle’s stock in 2018 had its best year since 2013 and is up more than 40% this year.