This morning, Chipotle announced that it is testing a brand new loyalty program that will provide rewards to return customers. Chipotle Rewards, as the program is aptly named, will be available in Phoenix, AZ; Columbus, OH; Kansas City, MO; and Kansas City, KA beginning today. During the program's test run, Chipotle will evaluate customer feedback before launching nationwide in 2019. Based on what we know about the program so far, we're guessing one of the issues test users may raise is the number of purchases required for them to see the rewards.
According to Chipotle's official announcement of the new loyalty program, customers have to be extremely loyal to get the promised freebies. Chipotle Rewards members will be able to get one free entrée once they've earned 1,250 points. How do members earn points? Well, for every $1 spent at the chain, they will receive 10 points.
So, let's break this down. If your go-to Chipotle order is a burrito, you spend, on average, around $8 each time you visit the chain. That means you'll earn around 80 points with every visit, so you will have to eat Chipotle around 16 times before getting your free entrée. Even if you speed up the process by ordering extras like drinks, chips and guac, or queso, you'll still have to spend $125 to get an $8 reward.
For a limited time, customers in the test markets will be able to get the rewards a little faster and receive additional rewards. As a way to boost digital orders, Chipotle is offering 15 points for every $1 spent in the chain's app or online for a limited time. And, perhaps as a way to encourage customers to sign up for the new program, it's also providing free chips and guac to everyone after they make their first purchase as a Chipotle Rewards member.
Since signing up for the rewards program doesn't cost anything, there's no real harm in becoming a member, but keep in mind that it will likely take some time to reap the benefits. That is, unless Chipotle lowers the number of points required for a free entrée after the program's test run.