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06/22/2021

Chipotle races into video game promotions

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Chipotle Mexican Grill is the latest retailer to embrace video games as a means of engaging customers and building loyalty.

On Wednesday, June 23, the quick-service retailer is introducing a new video game called Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange. Part of its Chipotle Rewards loyalty program, the interactive racing game will challenge players to earn game points and avoid obstacles for a chance to win a 2021 Tesla Model 3 and other prizes.

Through the new Rewards Exchange, Chipotle Rewards members can unlock more rewards, more often. Previously, Chipotle Rewards points exclusively went toward free entrees, but now members can choose to exchange points for more than 15 different reward options, including free guacamole, drinks, and licensed goods. Customers can also redeem their points to support a variety of Chipotle's non-profit partners like The Farmlink Project, National Young Farmers Coalition, and the National Urban League. Those who are enrolled in Chipotle Rewards get 10 points for every $1 spent in the restaurant, online, or in the app.  

Video games are emerging as a mainstream channel for online consumer engagement, and even sales. Beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics is opening its own channel on the Twitch game streaming platform. And in recent weeks, Kenneth Cole Productions debuted a new apparel collection in the casual mobile game “High Heels!”, and Pacsun began making branded digital products available for purchase within the Roblox global online gaming platform. 

The Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange video game will last 48 hours, officially going live on June 23 at 9 a.m. PT and ending on June 25 at 9 a.m. PT. The game will be available on mobile and desktop devices. 

Players begin Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange by signing into their Chipotle Rewards account. Participants who don't have an existing account will be asked to create a free one. From there, players choose their eco-mode of transport: electric car, electric bike, or electric skateboard, and will race on a farm-inspired map where they will earn 10 points per second they drive. 

In addition, they can collect items on the road from the Rewards Exchange to earn extra game points. Players who hit an obstacle, an artificial flavor, color, or preservative, will have their score logged and start over at zero points. Players are not limited in the number of times they can play the game.

The top eligible scorer at the conclusion of Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange will win a standard 2021 Tesla Model 3. Chipotle will award the second, third, and fourth place eligible finishers with an electric bike, and eligible players ranking five through 10 on the leaderboard will win an electric skateboard. Up to the first 500,000 players who pass two Chipotle restaurants in the game each day will receive 250 points in their rewards account, which is the number of points that are required to redeem an order of chips at Chipotle. Chipotle will give away a total of up to 1 million free orders of chips in Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange via points in players' rewards accounts.

"The new Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange video game is a fun way to demonstrate the speed at which our loyalty members can now earn rewards," said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer, Chipotle Mexican Grill. "This is one of the many ways we're super-charging our superfans and offering exclusive experiences to our most loyal guests."

Chipotle had over 2,800 restaurants as of March 31, 2021, in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, and Germany, and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants.