Frightful changes are in store for Chipotle's Halloween giveaway

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Sep 29 2010

Boo-rito-250

Fans of Halloween promotions and bad puns will be saddened to hear that this year, Chipotle is overhauling its long-running "Boo-rito" giveaway. Under the promo, as many college students know, you get a free burrito if you show up at a Chipotle location dressed as one. But Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's CMO, told attendees at an Advertising Week session on Wednesday that Boo-rito will look different this year. For one thing, you now have to dress up like a processed food item (a Twinkie, for example) to claim the prize. For another, you have to pony up $2 as well. The cash goes to fund a Jamie Oliver charity (Crumpacker didn't specify which one). The nominal charge and the more challenging costume will no doubt result in fewer freeloaders this year. Crumpacker said the promo costs Chipotle about $3 million. We say: Boo!

Chipotle continuing green push with solar panels at 75 locations

Posted on Mon Oct 26 2009

Chipotle-solar

Now you can rest assured knowing your burritos and tacos will be cooked in the warm, radiant beams of the sun. Well, not really. But as part of its "Food with Integrity" mission, burrito chain Chipotle last week announced it's installing solar panels on 75 of its restaurants over the course of the next year. The panels are being installed in cities like Denver, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. They will reduce energy usage during the restaurants' peak hours (11 a.m to 7 p.m.). Chipotle has already garnered several sustainability awards, including a Platinum LEED certification for its Gurnee, Ill., restaurant, which has an on-site wind turbine and underground cistern. The amount of power produced through the solar program will eliminate more than 41 million pounds of CO2 emissions, according to the company.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

The burrito is back, as Chipotle revives its ordering iPhone app

Posted on Wed Aug 26 2009

Chipotle

Finally! Seven months after Chipotle yanked its burrito-ordering application off the Apple App Store, the restaurant chain yesterday announce the launch of its new and improved Chipotle iPhone app. (All glitches resolved this time around, the company says.) It works by letting consumers create, order and pay for the meal of their choice all via their mobile device. What's more, it's GPS-friendly, meaning you can scout out your favorite Chipotle restaurant anytime, anywhere, anyplace. (Assuming you're not in the Sahara.) TechCrunch gave it rave reviews, with the writer noting that he built and placed an order for his "favorite custom burrito in about 30 seconds." That's definitely shorter than standing in line these days. Hey, we've got two Chipotles near our office. Stepping out for a few. Munch, munch.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

And now, the least likely film to get a fast food partner is . . .

Posted on Wed Jul 15 2009
Food-inc-poster-2 It would be a bit of a tossup to decide which scene in Food Inc. was the most stomach churning. Would it be the one where steroid-pumped chickens kept falling over and dying because they couldn't support their artificially enhanced weight? Or the one that showed a cow with a giant bloody hole in its side being examined for signs of salmonella? And don't even get me started on the hidden camera video—unappetizing to say the least. Which makes it so surprising that any food marketer would partner with the documentary, an important yet grueling piece of work that's screening now on the independent circuit from director/producer Robert Kenner and co-producer Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation). (Not at all shocking: The fact that none of the giant agribusinesses skewered in the movie wanted to participate in any way). Turns out Chipotle Mexican Grill has stepped up, sponsoring free screenings of the film and promoting it in 860 restaurants. While a deal with any fast feeder may seem counterintuitive—burger joints get especially pummeled in the doc —Chipotle execs said it's a way for them to showcase their "food with integrity" philosophy and point out its organically grown, naturally raised products. "I hope that all our customers see this film,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "The more they know about where their food comes from, the more they will appreciate what we do." Just might want to suggest they grab that burrito before the flick. 

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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