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Social Media Data Suggest Chiptopia Has Failed To Reinvigorate Chipotle Customers

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Social Media Data Suggest Chiptopia Has Failed To Reinvigorate Chipotle Customers

Roughly a year after multiple food safety outbreaks at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) hit the company’s reputation and share price hard, the restaurant chain is still trying to lure back its lost customers. The latest data from TickerTags indicate that Chipotle’s most recent effort may have fallen flat.

TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.

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On July 1, Chipotle launched its first-ever customer rewards program. Chipotia gives customers up to three free entrees for every increment of three to four entree purchases per month. Additional bonuses can be earned via more purchases.

While Chipotle fans have been calling for a rewards program for years, social media data suggests the Chipotia program hasn’t been enough to lure back lost customers.

Social media mentions of “Chipotle” coupled with “lunch,” “dinner,” and “line” remain down 60 percent from their pre-outbreak levels. Not surprisingly, Chipotle’s stock remains down 43.3 percent from where it was a year ago as well.

Just this week, CEO Steve Ellis appeared in a new video on Chipotle’s website to try a different approach to getting customers back: taking responsibility. Ellis said that the company “let our customers down” and “failed to live up to our own food safety standards.”

In addition to a series of new food safety measures, Ellis also announced that an independent advisory council will continuously review the company’s food safety performance.

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