Chipotle Mexican Grill spent plenty of time tweaking big fast-food chains over factory food, artificial ingredients and the like until the burrito chain was hit by a series of outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.
Well, Chipotle seems to have dusted off its old playbook Wednesday in releasing an animated video titled “A Love Story.”
The video tells the story of Evie and Ivan who start competing lemonade stands that grow into huge fast-food businesses. Then the competitors become discouraged by what their businesses have become and how they’ve lost control, which sends them into the kitchen — together.
“Chipotle is very different than traditional fast food restaurants, and our marketing reflects those differences,” Mark Shambura, director of brand marketing at Chipotle, said in a news release. “By telling elements of Chipotle’s story through films that are primarily meant to entertain viewers, we have been able to prompt a number of important conversations about food and issues in food.”
Chipotle has irked the commercial farming industry and big fast-food competitors beginning with “Back to the Start” in 2011 and “The Scarecrow” in 2013.
The burrito chain in July is kicking off its first loyalty program, called “Chiptopia,” in an effort to win back customers lost when the company suffered a series of E. coli outbreaks. The program, which runs through September will reward repeat customers with free entrees.
Chipotle also is adding chorizo, a chicken-and-pork sausage, as a menu option nationally.
In the first three months of this year, Chipotle’s sales at established locations were down about 30 percent.