The New Year is bringing new change to everyone, and Chipotle is included. We can probably all agree that 2016 was a rough year at best, but it's been particularly rough on Chipotle.
According to Eater, the burrito chain is still working hard to recover from the food safety disaster that continues to linger over its name from a little over a year ago. Then there was an avocado shortage, customer service problems … the list goes on. Poor Chipotle!
As a result, and in an effort to recover, Chipotle is going to be bringing about some changes in 2017. The first, and probably the most notable, will be the elimination of the free burrito promotion -- Chiptopia. Stock for the company is still struggling, and sadly the time for expensive promotions has ended. New changes will include an increase in advertising efforts, an energized push toward online and mobile ordering, a possible new dessert item and price increases.
That's a long list of changes, and some of those changes might make you cringe (price increase), while others might get you excited (a new Chipotle dessert?). However you're feeling, understand that this company has to bring itself back to glory, especially in the eyes of the stock market.
The changes are coming after a reported plummet of same-store sales by 22%, and the stock dropping almost 25%, according to Yahoo Finance. The updated food safety protocols aren't likely to be enough, but maybe some of the aforementioned efforts will be.
“The most important area of focus must be rebuilding consumer confidence and interest in the brand,” managing director of Conlumino, a retail research agency, said of Chipotle. “That requires a strong marketing effort and initiatives like menu innovation.”
With new efforts taking place in the New Year, we have to remember that these things take time, and hopefully Chipotle remembers that as well. New advertisements and menu items should certainly help in gaining traction, though. Finally, the last big push will involve an improvement in customer service, which has been a recurring complaint over the last year. More training will be involved, but hopefully Chipotle comes through!