Chipotle Mexican Grill is rolling out upgrades to its rewards program, which has helped the fast-casual chain earn more than $2 billion in digital sales this year.
The company announced on Wednesday (Sept. 1) that it is launching Extras, an exclusive feature that gives its 24 million rewards members access to extra points, allowing them to get free food quicker. The QSR has also gamified the rewards program with challenges to earn points and achievement badges, something the company says is a first for its industry.
Rewards members can access the Extras program through the company’s website or their profile on the Chipotle app. Points can be redeemed in exchange for rewards such as free menu items or apparel.
“Offering new ways to engage with Chipotle is essential to the ongoing evolution of our digital business,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer. “The new Extras feature gamifies Chipotle Rewards through special challenges and allows Rewards members to celebrate their achievements with special badges.”
Rewards members will earn 10 points for every dollar they spend, with Extras giving them opportunities to earn even more. In addition to free food, drinks and merchandise, members can also redeem points to support Chipotle’s non-profit partners, which include the National Urban League, National Young Farmers Coalition and the Farmlink Project.
In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster earlier this year, Chipotle Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatwright spoke about the importance of digital to the company’s outcome, including its digitally integrated drive-thrus.
“We now consider that the digital drive-thru of the future,” Boatwright said. “And I know there are a lot of brands today that are larger that have your traditional drive-thru experience that is entrenched … and I think they’re going to struggle.”
In the wake of the COVID pandemic, Chipotle has recovered around 70 percent of its in-restaurant sales, while enjoying 80% digital retention.