Chiptopia Summer Rewards: Chipotle’s Loyalty Program Might Restart Burrito Addictions

This summer just got a little more interesting for Chipotle’s most loyal customers. Earlier today (June 27), the popular Mexican Grill announced their Chiptopia Summer Rewards program.

It begins this Friday (July 1) and continues until the end of September. Customers who visit Chipotle a certain number of times throughout July, August, and September will earn rewards for their burrito addictions. The levels in Chiptopia are named based on the grill’s salsa selections: Mild, Medium, and Hot.

If a customer visits the restaurant four times within a single month, they’ll earn Chiptopia’s “Mild” status. That status means a free item (burrito, bowl, salad, or tacos) of their choice during their fifth visit.

Eight visits earns them “Medium” status, and 11 visits unlocks “Hot” status. After a customer hits each milestone, they earn another free item from Chipotle’s four choices.

The visits only count within the month, so only three visits in July and one in August won’t mean “Mild” status. In fact, visits and status reset each month.

That doesn’t mean this isn’t a generous rewards program, though. Every time a customer’s new status earns them a free entree, that reward counts toward reaching the next status. So, a free meal after reaching “Mild” status also counts as the fifth visit, well on the way to “Medium” status.

The rewards don’t stop there, either.

Four visits in each separate month while Chiptopia Summer Rewards lasts will earn customers a free meal when summer ends, and if the program is enticing enough to make some reach “Medium” status every single month, they’ll get a cool $20 worth of Chipotle merchandise.

Where’s the fun in this if you don’t aim for the top? Earn “Hot” status every single month and the restaurant will cater for you and 19 of your friends or coworkers at the end of the summer.

Presumably, this new program is an attempt to revitalize Chipotle’s customer base after the health and public relations nightmare that was its E. Coli outbreak last year, in addition to giving them a way to gather data about their customers.

In late 2015, the franchise was forced to close 43 restaurants across the country after 17 customers were confirmed to be infected with E. Coli after recently visiting different Chipotle locations. The situation only escalated when 80 Boston College students fell ill after eating at one Chipotle location close to campus back in December. 20 of those students were hospitalized for what appeared to be a strain of norovirus, which health officials stressed was fairly common.

However, none of those incidents contributed to a positive public opinion of Chipotle, and the business felt the effects. In the following months, they saw a 30 percent drop in profits between December and January, and a 45 percent decrease in the price of stock during the same time period.

Chipotle issued several statements, in which they attempted to assure customers that they were closely evaluating and making improvements to health and safety procedures in their restaurants, as well as making sure employees were well-versed in those protocols.

Their new rewards program isn’t the first time that Chipotle has gotten creative in attempts to win their customers back. In February, they launched a campaign for “rain check burritos.” Customers simply had to text the phrase “rain check” to the right phone number and they’d receive a code for a free burrito several hours later.

This turned into a hilarious situation when one man, whose phone number is one digit away from the Chipotle free burrito number, was accidentally inundated with requests for free burritos.

Customers can pick up their Chiptopia Summer Rewards cards at any Chipotle location starting July 1. If the program is successful, it may even turn into a permanent program, according to a tweet from the company’s official Twitter account.

[Image via Ken Wolter/]

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