Chipotle is tapping into new consumer occasions with the recent national rollout of its catering program. The added operation allows the brand to compete in a different space with fast-casual concepts like Panera and Qdoba Mexican Grill that have established catering options.
Chipotle tested catering in select regional markets, including Colorado, earlier this year before implementing the program nationally in November, says Danielle Winslow, a Chipotle spokeswoman.
“We were definitely prepared to take it nationally and always intended to,” she says. “The holidays gave us a perfect occasion to offer the quality food Chipotle is known for.”
Winslow says catering may not have reached a new consumer base for the brand, but Chipotle’s existing fans are responding well to being able to enjoy its burritos and tacos at board meetings, holiday parties, and other events. To drum up interest and capitalize on the time of year, Chipotle is offering a holiday promotion to coincide with catering orders, rewarding customers who place an order before December 31 with a gift of two free burritos, bowls, orders of tacos, or salads. Customers just need to present their catering receipt at any U.S. location before January 31.
The catering program includes four different meal options and can serve between six and 200 people, Winslow says. Two options, the Two Meat Spread and the Big Spread, allow consumers to create their own taco, burrito, or bowl, just as they would in the restaurant.