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Top 40 Places & Things in the media for 03/12/2019

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#11 Chipotle Mexican Grill • Venmo

Where are my Chipotle fans at?! Save this guide to use before your next Chipotle run. Whether you aim to eat low carb, high protein, or anything in between, this should help you compile the perfect meal to fit your goals. Note that these macros are never going to be exact. You know how it goes- sometimes you get a nice heaping scoop of meat, and other times you get next to nothing. But when you go for takeout food, it's all about estimating, and this guide allows you to do exactly that. Whether you are ordering a burrito, a salad, or tacos, the portion sizes will generally be about the same (4oz is standard for meat and beans). If you're looking to cut calories, be careful with the side of chips. The chips may seem harmless, but the 500+ calories can add up really quickly, especially if paired with queso or guac! I will often ask for no chips on the side to avoid the temptation all together, because if they're in front of me, I'm eating them. And my ultimate tip: always ask for double meat. It'll cost you a few extra bucks, but if you get double chicken, you're looking at a meal that likely has 80g of protein after everything is added. Maybe that's too much protein for you...but I'll take it! OK, confession time... I've only had Chipotle one time in my life. Don't kill me. What should I go for when I get myself back there? It's time to give it another try. - #diettips #chipotlemexicangrill #fittips #nutritionguide #macrocounting #macrofriendly #diethelp #nutrition101 #healthyfastfood

814 Likes, 51 Comments - Matt Rosenman (@cheatdaydesign) on Instagram: "Where are my Chipotle fans at?! Save this guide to use before your next Chipotle run. Whether you..."

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Chipotle teams with Venmo as it takes its rewards program national

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its Chipotle Rewards program national as its digital platform continues to see major growth.
  • Users can enroll via the Chipotle website or app, receiving 10 points for each dollar spent, earning a free entree with 1,250 points.
  • For launch week, Chipotle is teaming up with digital wallet company Venmo.

Kate Rogers| @KateRogers

Published 4 Hours Ago  Updated 2 Hours AgoCNBC.com

Chipotle teams up with Venmo to encourage loyalty program sign-ups  1 Hour Ago | 01:36

Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its loyalty program nationwide as its digital platform continues to see major growth.

The company began testing Chipotle Rewards, a points-based loyalty program, across several markets last fall in a move to make the brand more accessible and digitally innovative.

CEO Brian Niccol told CNBC a rewards program has been the most-requested initiative among its consumer base. With digital ramping up in recent quarters — growing some 66 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, accounting for nearly 13 percent of sales — Niccol said loyalty is another way to get users engaged online, and he expects it will have a "multiplier effect" on the company's digital business.

"In our test markets we've seen people get more engaged and more committed in our digital system with the loyalty program," Niccol said. "We see people participating even more with delivery, mobile ordering and ordering within the app."

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Users can enroll via the Chipotle website or app, receiving 10 points for each dollar spent, earning a free entree with 1,250 points. First-time users will also receive free chips and guacamole and can accrue rewards online, in store or on the app.

The company also announced it teaming up with digital wallet company Venmo for launch week, depositing surprise amounts of $1 to $500 in fan's accounts through March 15. Chipotle will become the first restaurant to have its own branded emoji — the Chipotle pepper — on Venmo, used for splitting and sharing payments. Those who want a chance to receive a reward can enter the phone number associated with his or her Venmo account on ChipotleRewardMe.com, and approximately 25,000 people a day will be paid during the partnership.

"We think it's great for Chipotle to show up in unexpected places, but in really relevant places for people and how they want to communicate with each other," Niccol said of the partnership with Venmo.

The company has made digital innovation a priority under Niccol's tenure, which began last March. It has installed second lines in stores to handle orders that come in via app or web and pickup shelves in stores for digital orders. It is also testing "Chipotlanes," drive-thru windows dedicated to pickup for digital orders. Wall Street has responded well to the changes — the stock in 2018 had its best year since 2013 and is up more than 40 percent this year.

Chief Digital and Information Officer Curt Garner said it's important to develop experiences that are digital through and through — having an app alone isn't enough.

"Chipotle has a significant advantage in that we've built dedicated kitchens to serve digital orders, and we've integrated those kitchens both with our app and with delivery drivers, so that the orders come in a way that's seamless. They don't interrupt the flow of the line in the restaurant and we can promise that those orders will be delivered to customers, or will be available for pickup, in some of the fastest times in the industry," Garner said.

Analysts say a smart digital presence is felt across platforms including apps and social media. Brands that are getting it right view social media as a part of a larger technology infrastructure that extends from screen to store.

"Where the growth is happening right now in the restaurant space is primarily on the digital side," said Peter Saleh, managing director and restaurants analyst at BTIG. "If you are good at all of these things — digital, delivery, take out, social — you are generally taking share in the space, and growing faster than the rest."

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