Better Late Than Never: Chipotle Starts a Diner Rewards Program

(Bloomberg) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., which for years opted against a loyalty program, has decided that now is the time.

Customers can get a free entree after spending $125 under the new program, with free chips and guacamole after members make their first purchase.

Better Late Than Never: Chipotle Starts a Diner Rewards Program

Rivals have been using loyalty programs for years to drive repeat visits. Taco Bell started one in 2015, while Panera Bread rolled out its program nationwide eight years ago.

But Chief Executive Officer Brian Niccol is now shaking up Chipotle’s playbook as he seeks to reignite growth at the burrito chain. This includes adding drive-thru windows, new menu items, more national advertisements and expanded delivery.

The initial results are positive, with comparable sales rising 6.1 percent in the latest quarter. Investors approve of the changes as well: Chipotle shares are up about 90 percent since Niccol took over a year ago.

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