Chipotle’s E. coli and norovirus scandal has left many weary of the burrito chain’s food. Yet another health scare last week in Massachusetts provided yet another setback for the company’s brand-rehabilitation strategy, which has included slashing bonuses for company execs and shutting down for half a day to hold an all-staff meeting.
Of course, free food is always the best way to lure customers back, so Chipotle is doubling down on its gratis-burrito promotion. Instead of blowing up that dude’s phone who got loads of “RAINCHECK” texts the last time around, though, the chain is now mailing up to 21 million coupons to entice fans, according to the Associated Press.
These rehabilitation efforts are seriously costly. Bloomberg Business ran the numbers on the free-burrito scheme and determined that Chipotle could end up giving away as much as $66 million in food when all is said and done.
— Bloomberg Business (@business) March 17, 2016
Needless to say, it’s a good time to be a carnitas fiend who’s not afraid of a little E. coli scare. Lines have become eerily short, and the freebies keep coming. By the time the coupons expire mid-May, Chipotle is considering shifting to BOGO offers.