The quick service restaurants industry is known for being a highly competitive space when it comes to loyalty, with programs rolling out from both chains and couriers. In the midst of consumer trust and brand image issues, Chipotle launched a loyalty program this March and has seen remarkable progress since—a 70% year-over-year increase in estimated monthly active app users, approximately 3 million memberships and 9.9% growth in first quarter same-store sales.
Chipotle exemplifies the holistic approach that Gartner L2’s Loyalty report emphasizes is a key driver of program visibility and engagement. The restaurant chain’s success is derived from its effective use of site assets, email campaigns and display advertising content to get its loyalty program in front of prospects and incentivize membership sign-ups and app downloads.
Across its homepage, Chipotle prominently features its loyalty program and provides a number of routes to its loyalty program landing page. For additional onboarding support, Chipotle leverages display advertising to raise loyalty awareness, encouraging prospects to join through clear calls to action. To uphold engagement, the brand also dedicates nearly half of its total email campaigns to promoting Chipotle Rewards, which in aggregate outperformed the average brand loyalty campaign open rate by 128%.
Additionally, Chipotle is one of several brands that has rolled out a loyalty program in phases to specific audience segments to ensure the efficacy of a new program. Even prior to its new rewards program, the label trialed loyalty in the form of a virtual punch card called Chiptopia, awarding members for total number of chain visits. In preparation for a full rollout, the brand also revamped its website and partnered with Venmo to provide cash rewards to select members that resulted in a significant boost to awareness.