- Chipotle Mexican Grill is relaunching Guac Mode, which rewards Chipotle Rewards members with free guacamole sporadically, according to a press release issued last week.
- To mark the return of Guac Mode and the third anniversary of Chipotle Rewards' launch, the fast casual chain is teaming with Block's Cash App to give away $100,000 in cash drops over Twitter through March 31.
- The activation highlights both Chipotle's and Cash App's mobile apps while boosting awareness of the perks of Chipotle's mobile ordering, a popular option for many consumers.
During 2021, Chipotle's mobile ordering increased 133.9%, accounting for 50.1% of all its sales. Largely a result of the pandemic restrictions, mobile ordering heightened convenience for both restaurants and consumers. However, as restrictions begin to pull back and a new normal emerges, Chipotle needs a way to incentivize customers to continue ordering through its mobile app, rather than at the counter.
The perks also encourage consumers to purchase their meal directly from Chipotle, rather than a third-party app, helping the chain to cut out the middleman and increase profits. Guac Mode offers an air of exclusivity, as not all reward members are automatically enrolled in the program. Reward members who would like to be part of Guac Mode must be Guac Mode "verified," which may be a potential play on the exclusivity of Twitter or Instagram verification. Verification only opens for a limited time. Partnering with Cash App helps to spread the word that the program is open, while encouraging winners to spend their newfound cash on Chipotle.
Guac Mode takes advantage of the popularity of Chipotle's guacamole. The fact that the restaurant chain charges extra for guacamole has become a meme, even spawning a shirt in Chipotle's e-commerce store. The possibility of guacamole being included may be enough to push users toward the chain's own mobile app.
Chipotle has made several attempts to boost its reward program membership. In 2021, the chain unveiled Extras, which allows members to earn rewards faster. The program allowed users to earn badges, giving patrons a game-like experience. In addition to food-based rewards, it gave users access to exclusive merchandise.
The partnership with Cash App to disburse spare burrito money to the masses is a smart move by both brands involved. Cash App has done similar activations with influencers in the past, driving growth for the company. Partnering with a large chain like Chipotle could further elevate the financial app's popularity as it competes with other platforms such as Venmo and Zelle. It could also encourage app downloads because entrants in the Chipotle deal will need some platform through which to receive their winnings.