- Chipotle Mexican Grill will make its annual "Boorito" Halloween celebration an all-digital event this year, according to an announcement. The fast casual chain instead is offering 500,000 mobile users a chance to receive special codes to redeem for a buy-one, get-one-free coupon.
- To claim the offer, customers must check Chipotle's accounts on Instagram, TikTok or Twitter for a special keyword and then text it to 888-222 to receive an offer code that can be redeemed in the Chipotle app or Chipotle.com on Halloween.
- While previous Boorito promotions have added Instagram and TikTok opportunities, Chipotle is looking to avoid crowding at its restaurants and instead go all-digital as the coronavirus pandemic upends Halloween traditions like costume contests and trick-or-treating.
Chipotle's all-digital Boorito promotion is a sign of how much the pandemic has disrupted the fast-casual chain's marketing efforts. Since 2000, Chipotle ran the burrito-themed costume contests at its restaurants on Halloween and later offered discounts to people who visited in any kind of costume. The promotion was designed to be a fun event for customers, rewarding them for participating and visiting stores. With many people avoiding restaurants and ordering food for delivery and pickup this year, Chipotle can at least maintain some of its traditions while engaging customers through their mobile devices.
The Boorito promotion likely will help to boost Chipotle's social following as people check its various accounts for keywords to send in text messages to receive the coupon codes. The company has been active on social media to reach its target customers of young adults and teens. Chipotle is especially appealing to consumers ages 34 and under, according to omnichannel purchase data from Numerator. In previous years, Chipotle has added activations on Instagram and TikTok to the Boorito promotion.
Chipotle's revamped tradition this year follows other recent efforts to reach consumers through social media, whose usage has jumped among homebound mobile users. Last week, the QSR ran a branded hashtag challenge on TikTok that asked people to film themselves shooting a 53-foot basket for a chance to win food and tickets to an NBA game. Before that, the chain ran an influencer promotion for the return of carne asada to its menu. Chipotle also partnered with a TikTok creator house to promote a new group-ordering feature in its app, and ran its second "Unlock the Guac" challenge as part of its yearly celebration of National Avocado Day.
The QSR's promotions come as many municipalities ease lockdowns on restaurants, making foot traffic a bigger priority, though its revamped Boorito effort is a sign that it doesn't want to overwhelm its locations. The chain began reopening its dining rooms in May, and by the following month was offering limited in-restaurant or patio seating at 85% of its locations, CEO Brian Niccol said in a quarterly earnings call. Digital sales more than tripled to a record $829 million, making up 61% of total Q2 revenue, as consumers ordered more delivery or takeout. The Boorito campaign helps to highlight Chipotle's digital channels.