In 2 days, 2 giveaways from Chipotle

chipotle sign

Chipotle is shotgunning another freebie into the market—its second in two days—in a bid to raise traffic as the fast-casual chain enters the final month of its third quarter.  

The ailing brand announced today that in September, it will provide a free kids meal on Sundays to guests who buy a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos.

Yesterday, the chain said it would provide a free fountain drink during September to any student who presents his or her high school or college ID.

Both offers still earn customers one credit under the brand’s Chiptopia limited-time loyalty program, which rewards guests for the frequency of their visits rather than how much they spend. It was cited by management as a key part of the chain’s turnaround program.

Giveaways have played a major role in that effort. One of the ways management tried to win back guests was by offering free burritos to customers who tried to visit a unit during a chainwide shutdown for reorientation. It has also provided a free meal for limited times to teachers and nurses.

The chain has been reeling since hundreds of patrons were sickened in a flurry of food-poisoning incidents at the end of 2015. The main problem, according to executives, has been a loss of visits by what had been the brand’s high-frequency guests.

For the second quarter, Chipotle’s customer counts were down 19.3% from the level of the year-ago quarter, and same-store sales fell 23.6%.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Saladworks-parent WOWorks is shopping for new brands to buy

The platform company is almost finished assimilating its existing six brands. Now it's time to add to the family, said CEO Kelly Roddy.

Financing

2 more reminders that the restaurant business is risky

The Bottom Line: Franchising is no less risky than opening your own restaurant. Just ask former NFL player David Tyree and the former president of McDonald's Mexico.

Marketing

There's plenty happening at the high end of the pricing barbell, too

Reality Check: Decadent meal choices are also proliferating, for a lot more than $5.

Trending

More from our partners