Chipotle to start loyalty program, add chorizo to menu

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NEW YORK — Chipotle Mexican Grill tried winning its loyal customers back with the rain-check burrito, free guacamole and chips, and now it’s rolling out a temporary loyalty program.

On Tuesday, the burrito chain announced its first ever quarterly loss. It reported a net loss was $26.4 million and a decrease in sales of 29.7 percent.

Executives are hopeful and is on a campaign to win back its supporters, specifically the ones that visited restaurants more than 25 times a year, according to Eater. A loyalty program, like the one Starbucks has, will give people the incentive to eat at Chipotle multiple times in a short time span.

The chain said it will be temporary program, but gave no timeline on when it will end. It is also planning to release some buy one, get one free offers.

On the menu, Chipotle will introduce chorizo to nationwide locations. It first tested the new item at its Kansas City restaurants and was planning to expand it when the E. coli crisis happened, according to Eater. The chorizo will be a combination of chicken and pork spicy sausage that will be a crispy addition to a burrito, Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said.

Despite giving away six million free burritos and one million chips and guacamole in the beginning of the year, sales were still down in March and April. Chipotle executives blamed the norovirus incident in Boston that happened last month, Eater reported.