Chipotle Mexican Grill has teamed up with Venmo to expand its loyalty program amid huge growth of its digital platform.
The quick-service restaurant (QSR) has introduced the points-based program, called Chipotle Rewards, in select markets, CNBC reported. CEO Brian Niccol said the rewards program was what Chipotle customers had most requested, and that the company has recently been putting more energy into its digital offerings.
During launch week, through March 15, Venmo will surprise customers with deposits between $1 and $500 into their accounts. Chipotle will also have a branded emoji for splitting and sharing payments. Customers can visit the website to sign up for the rewards.
“We think it’s great for Chipotle to show up in unexpected places, but in really relevant places for people and how they want to communicate with each other,” Niccol said of the partnership with Venmo.
“In our test markets, we’ve seen people get more engaged and more committed in our digital system with the loyalty program,” Niccol said. “We see people participating even more with delivery, mobile ordering and ordering within the app.”
Users can enroll in the program on the Chipotle website, and will receive 10 points for every dollar spent. A free menu entree will run 1,250 points. First-time users who sign up are also eligible for free chips and guacamole.
The digital dive has been profitable for the company, and it has installed second lines in stores to handle digital orders. The company is also testing the idea of drive-thru windows for those orders. Chipotle’s stock is up 40 percent this year.
Chief Digital and Information Officer Curt Garner said that beyond having an app, experiences are important. “Chipotle has a significant advantage in that we’ve built dedicated kitchens to serve digital orders, and we’ve integrated those kitchens both with our app and with delivery drivers, so the orders come in a way that’s seamless. They don’t interrupt the flow of the line in the restaurant, and we can promise that those orders will be delivered to customers, or will be available for pickup, in some of the fastest times in the industry,” he said.