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Redefining fast-casual loyalty at Chipotle, one burrito at a time

Situation

How do we get 6M loyal burrito-loving customers?

For years, Chipotle had been known to deliver real food, real simple, real fast. But in order to maintain growth and shape the demand curve, they realized they needed to better understand their customers. That meant being able to identify and communicate with them individually, rewarding the most loyal customers and bringing them back into their stores.

With a new loyalty program, Chipotle saw an opportunity to learn from customers and drive remarkable relationships, target loyal visitors, and help grow the business. By strengthening the employee culture for front-line workforce, staff could serve as the ambassadors for every customer interaction.

Solution

Build an unbreakable bond

Chipotle needed a way to create special relationships with customers, transcending any typical fast-casual program. We helped Chipotle get started by putting a new approach in the middle of the taco universe, using our BXT way of working to instill a new type of DNA across all parties involved. That meant titles down, creative minds in, and all ideas on the table.

We reframed the problem and put Chipotle’s people and customers at the heart of its decision-making. Bringing together business expertise (B), human-centered experience design (X) and technology (T), we reimagined loyalty from strategy and experience design to market testing and nationwide roll-out, down to the store level.

Business

Generating demand wasn’t a problem — until it was

A slowdown in demand served as a wake-up call for Chipotle when the company realized it didn't have a 1:1 relationship with customers or a way to reach them meaningfully.

Bringing people back in the doors — and keeping them — was crucial to success. Traditional marketing programs weren’t going to cut it, so we worked with Chipotle to create a new kind of loyalty backed by a financial model showing just how the program would impact the bottom line.

Experience

Uncovering the secret ingredient for loyalty

Loyalty and customer relationships are built around everything that customers see and everything they don’t. A cross-functional design session brought everyone to the table to imagine a new experience, and what it would mean for everyone who interacted with it.

We considered everything from the server making a burrito, to the cashier, to marketing, quality and beyond. A customized change management playbook and training execution program made every employee a change agent. Usability testing and a foundational set of 50+ promotions were created to engage customers, not just satisfying expectations, but exceeding them.

Technology

Introducing a recipe for success

To successfully launch Chipotle’s largest initiative and top strategic priority, it took more than just a good idea — it included a solid technology roadmap. PwC technologists were there to define and influence the design and tech requirements, integrating the needs of multiple teams around the world, with customers’ data and privacy top of mind.

Working with our competitors [yes, true story], we served as one team for Chipotle, working side-by-side at a command center that included 75 people, fielding questions and concerns from 2,500 restaurants.

Results

Six million enrollments and counting

We transcended traditional loyalty programming, focusing on what the results would mean to Chipotle, its customers and employees, and its brand. Our BXT way of working helped Chipotle strategize, design, test and launch a new loyalty platform within 18 months, across 2,500 stores.

99%

increase in
digital sales
Q2 2019 YOY

1M

enrollments in Chipotle
Rewards within the first week

$1.4B

in revenue, an
increase of 13.2%
Q2 2019 YOY

One of the smoothest launches in company history.

Chief Restaurant Officer
Chipotle

Behind the scenes

Back of the house, front of the line

PwC quarterbacked, managed, and held everyone accountable — from our team, to vendors to competitors. By breaking down silos and bringing disparate parts of the business and disparate partners together, we were able to focus on the experience and the solution to help Chipotle solve its loyalty conundrum. More importantly, we leveraged Chipotle’s culture and 80,000 employees to act as change agents.

Reimagine how you work, think and engage

Combine business expertise, experience design, and technology to achieve the extraordinary. Bring your best ideas to life faster with BXT Works.

Learn more

Contact us

Jon Glick

Partner, CMO Advisory, PwC US

José Reyes

Chief Creative Officer & Experience Center Leader, PwC US

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