Daily Insights

New Year, New Chipotle

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Jan 07, 2019

People often enter the new year flush with resolutions but lacking the cash, creativity, or charge to act on them. Chipotle is hoping to take the trouble out of this task with its new “lifestyle bowls“, which cater to Whole30, keto, paleo, and protein-rich diets and can be ordered online through its app. Though 2018 was rather unappetizing for the brand, a shift towards health and convenience could be Chipotle’s chance at a fresh start.

In the past, Chipotle has prioritized convenience for customers by building out online ordering using its branded DoorDash subsite. This seems to have been successful: the company reported that digital sales grew 48% in Q3. By allowing customers to place DoorDash orders within an entirely Chipotle-branded experience, the brand lured users without the risk of an off-brand experience.

Its latest initiative also keeps the customer experience in Chipotle’s control but goes one step further, guiding hungry consumers straight to the chain’s mobile app. Though both couriers and app development can be expensive, customers increasingly opt for takeout and delivery, so restaurants need to use digital tools that enable easily placed orders. Overall, 76% of brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants offer pickup features on their site or app.

Catering to health-conscious customers could also boost Chipotle’s unsavory image. Comfort food brand Chick-fil-A serves up a similar strategy by featuring health-oriented content that addresses concerns surrounding processed foods. By putting ingredients first in marketing its lifestyle bowls, Chipotle introduces a new level of transparency for wary customers and customers-to-be. Presented on a digital platter, tapping into these two trends could not only revive customer loyalty, but also detoxify Chipotle’s reputation.