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If Chipotle's many deals are why you're still buying the (controversial) customized burritos and bowls, you may be out of luck: the number of freebies and BOGO offers is being drastically reduced this year. And Chipotle isn't the only place you'll see disappearing discounts.
In 2015, the Mexican fast-food chain had a serious run of bad luck, with five different outbreaks of food-borne illness occurring at different locations across the country. Shortly after the first one, the restaurant started running deals in an effort to encourage customers to come back.
Since July of that year, Chipotle has offered a number of rare high-value deals — think BOGO offers, digital coupons for free burritos, chips and guacamole, and other freebies.
Instead, Chipotle now intends to focus more on year-round advertising, as well as a scripted TV series aimed at kids. (Yeah, you read that right.) The restaurant hopes to bring back customers by reminding them of its brand message, as opposed to relying on deals.
Although he didn't clarify, chief marketing and development officer Mark Crumpacker said Chipotle is planning to use ads and "other offers" to try to bring customers back. So far, Chipotle's only promo this year has been free chips and guac with purchase of an entree.
Chipotle is just the latest of many businesses to have trouble after customers got used to promotional pricing. Lowering prices is a great way to boost sales, but many shoppers won't stick around when the promotions go away.
That's what many local business learned when they worked with Groupon during the site's heyday; customers swarm for a deal, then never come back. Similarly, apparel brands like Michael Kors and Coach are cutting back on promotions, and sometimes struggling to get customers to pay full price again.
Readers, will you still eat Chipotle despite the lack of promotions? Or will you move on to somewhere else, regardless of the charming children's programming? Sound off in the comments below!