Perhaps the most popular food chain among college students is Chipotle. I’m pretty sure that not a day goes by that I don’t hear the Mexican grill food chain mentioned at least once. Somebody is always talking about how they’re going to go get their burrito bowl after class or about how the guacamole costs way too much extra. However, a new study is showing that Chipotle’s popularity numbers have been going down among teenagers over the past several months.
The study comes from Piper Jaffray’s 2016 “Taking Stock with Teens Survey,” which says that out of the 6,500 teenagers who were surveyed, the majority said that they still liked Chipotle but that they don’t eat there quite as often as they used to. The main reason for this decrease in popularity comes from Chipotle’s health scare that happened earlier this year.
With the E coli breakout that occurred in early 2016, Chipotle took to strategic measures to make sure that customers still kept coming back. When restaurants across the country closed early one day for employee meetings on food safety, the company offered couples through a text deal where customers could receive a coupon for a free burrito on their next visit.
While numbers are still down, this tactic was able to bring some customers in. I myself took part in the deal. From the moment I walked in until the time I got my burrito, I waited almost an hour. Granted, I did go the first day that the coupons were valid. However, it was easy to tell that the company had definitely thought this tactic through. College students were the first to jump at the chance to get their Chipotle burritos for free. I think it will be interesting to see if the chain finds another way to raise customer numbers.