Inside Chipotle's Turnaround Strategy

October 8, 2018

By Jacqueline Corba

Chipotle's latest rewards program was inspired by its customers, according to the burrito chain's chief marketing officer.

"This is one of the things that consumers have said they want from Chipotle for a long time," Chris Brandt told Cheddar Monday. "It's really a first step for us in terms of digital customization and knowing you as an individual."

Chipotle ($CMG) is launching a new rewards program in three select markets, with plans to roll out the program across the country in 2019. The pilot, which the company announced last week, will be available first in Phoenix, Ariz., Kansas City, Kans., and Columbus, Ohio.

The program is an effort to engage with customers, but it also aims to drive more digital orders at a time while the fast-casual chain looks to win back customers after a series of health scares and growing competition in the marketplace.

The pilot also comes on the heals of a recent partnership with delivery service DoorDash.

"We have done everything possible to ensure that our food supply is safe. You should not hesitate to go to Chipotle, because the food there is safe," Brandt said.

In the last quarter, Chipotle generated more than $1 billion in revenue. Nearly one-third of that revenue goes to food costs as the chain pushes its real, fresh ingredient list.

Whether Chipotle's pilot program creates more foot traffic remains to be seen. The company's next quarterly report is slated for Oct. 25.

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