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Chipotle garnishes mobile on-demand push with Postmates giveaway

Chipotle Mexican Grill is highlighting the potency of offering promotions via third-party mobile ordering applications by enabling Postmates users to partake in a social media contest to win 100 days of free burritos.

Chipotle is driving up its digital sales by asking interested participants to begin the entry process when ordering on-demand food from the fast food chain. Users must upload photos of themselves enjoying their meal to social media, showcasing how these types of partnerships can increase audience outreach for major quick service restaurants as well as third-party platforms.

“I think we will see a lot more of this,” said Joe Rubin, co-founder of, New York. “These branded promotions are inexpensive to set up, and promoted by both companies to drive users/customers and revenue.

“The key to success on these type of promotions is a tight partnership between the brand and the delivery platform. Such a partnership can potentially drive several types of integrations between the companies.”

Garnishing fan loyalty
Chipotle is ramping up to offer one lucky fan enough Postmates credit to relish in a burrito each day for 100 consecutive days. To enter, consumers must order food from Chipotle via Postmates, which offers round-the-clock delivery.

The next step asks users to snap a photo of themselves or a friend enjoying the Chipotle meal. The image should then be uploaded onto Instagram or Twitter via the #100DaysofChipotle hashtag.

Fans must also tag the Postmates account, @Postmates, in the post.

Postmates will select one winner at the end of November, bestowing him or her with the designated amount of credit to enjoy more than three months’ worth of Chipotle burritos.

This is not Chipotle’s first foray into fueling sales by teaming up with third-party ordering solutions.

Two months ago, the fast food chain took the recent mobile ordering blitz one step further by identifying a potentially lucrative target audience of college students, prompting the brand to team up with the Tapingo app for quick mobile delivery to campuses nationwide (see story).

“Delivery from a restaurant brings on a huge amount of customers,” Mr. Rubin said. “Asking those customers to then post a photo of themselves and tag both Postmates and Chipotle is a great way to connect with fans and have them evangelize the companies.”

Revolutionizing promotional platforms
While Chipotle may have enjoyed an early start in mobile ordering, the brand’s stagnant third quarter is prompting it to debut more enhancements to the platform, as well as an online catering service, in a bid to further optimize the experience and boost sales next year (see story).

One of these initiatives is likely an increased spotlight on leveraging third-party ordering apps for flash sales or limited time promotions. Not every consumer has the Chipotle mobile ordering app installed on his or her smartphone, but a majority of the population has made room for at least one or two general food apps, which could include Postmates, Seamless or GrubHub.

Therefore, major chains have a massive advantage when offering promotions through these third-party platforms. They can easily tap into new customers and drive sales from users who may not have thought to order a Chipotle burrito for lunch or dinner.

Chipotle will also be able to measure the reach of the campaign in some capacity by visiting the designated hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to view the amount of posts uploaded. If results end up being successful, consumers can undoubtedly expect to see more national fast food chains hop on the bandwagon with third-party ordering app partnerships.

“Not [only are they] well-suited, they are built specifically for this,” Mr. Rubin said. “Having the restaurant promote this is a huge win for Postmates and I’m sure we will see other delivery platforms setting up deals like this with other restaurants.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York