Chipotle ran a rewards program from July 1st to September 30th in 2016. I came across the program accidentally since I was not a huge fan of Chipotle… especially after all the bad PR they just couldn’t shake (food poisoning anyone, insider trading, cocaine possession).
To summarize the Chipotle Summer Rewards program really simply:
Every time a Chipotle meal ($6+) was purchased between July 1 – Sept 30 with the scan of the Rewards card (a digital or physical copy was provided), it would go towards earning future rewards.
The more you eat, the more freebies you got.
And you know me, I am all about the freebies.
So, in a month, if you bought 4 Chipotle meals, you got a free meal – which would also be included as your 5th, and earning you the “Mild” status.
If you ate another 3, it would entitle you to another free meal – which would be also included as your 9th, and earning you the “Medium” status.
And then if you bought about 2, you got your 12th one free, and earning you the “Hot” status.
If you’re trying to do the math, let me do it for you:But, there’s more!
The minimum cost per month would be $6+ x 9 = $54+. And you get 12 meals in total, making each meal $4.50+.
If you completed the 3 months reaching the MILD, MEDIUM, or HOT status each month, you would receive a Bonus Reward at the end. The Rewards ranging from a free meal, $20 in Chipotle merchandise, or up to $240 in catering.
The reality (for us)
Well I am never one to do things halfheartedly with food – exercise, yes. Food, no.
I decided that Gambit and I should go for the HOT status each month, and ultimately reach the Bonus Hot Rewards – the $240 worth of catering.
We never purchased a meal that was $6, each bowl or burrito cost around $9, and I would save the more expensive meals (usually with more expensive meat) when I was claiming my free one as there was no limit to the meal I could claim.
So we ate.
We ate a variety of bowls and burritos for months.
We would purchase one and share one for dinner or lunch.
I would be tracking the purchases online and ensuring we would only buy 9 during the month, and claiming the free ones within time.
We eventually got to the point where we shuddered at the thought of having to pick up a fork and dig into a bowl. Or bite into a burrito.
Finally, our hard work paid off. On September 30, we hit the Hot Bonus Rewards. Catering for up to 20 people worth $240. Yay.
In all my planning I forgot to factor in that after eating so many burritos and bowls that by the time we would get the Hot Bonus Reward we might not want to eat another burrito or bowl again.
Originally the catering had to be used by December 31 but thankfully, Chipotle extended the expiry to March 31, 2017.
I always had my heart set on The Big Spread catering, and not the other option, The Box of 20 burritos. I wanted The Big Spread because I wanted to make mini meals using all the ingredients and put them in the freezer. I thought it would provide more options and was a much better deal than a box of 20 burritos.
Unfortunately, none of the Chipotle stores in Manhattan offered the Big Spread but only the burritos. I thought that perhaps I would have to settle with the burritos in the end because the closest Chipotle that did the Big Spread catering was over 30 mins away.
In the end, I decided to travel via the subway to the Rego Park location to collect. It was over 30 mins on the subway but I was determined.
Once we arrived, we were greeted by friend Chipotle staff and collected our huge order. It was a struggle to carry it all from the store to the subway, to our apartment. But we did it.
When we started to unpack, we realized just how thorough the inclusions of the catering was. Not only did we get the food, we got the serving stands, utensils, fire burners, napkins, bowls – even the matches to light the fire burners!
I was absolutely blown away with just how much food was included. After Gambit and I quickly had a crispy shell taco each, and then a shared soft shell taco, I quickly separated everything into food container and bags and popped them into the freezer.
The items that needed to be eaten immediately, like the chips and guacamole, we devoured part of a big bag of chips with a whole bowl of guac before surrendering, and offering the other large bag of chips and bowl of guac to a neighbor who has 4 teenagers.
I could make 24 meals out of one tray of the rice, meats, vegetables, and black beans. The brown rice, shredded cheese, and pinto beans will live to see another day when I will use them for other recipes.
We don’t need to go to Chipotle for a long time.
Would I do the Chiptopia Rewards again if it was available this year? Definitely.
Would I recommend other to? If you like Chipotle and could eat 12 meals by yourself in a month or share it, I would say give it a go!