- Chipotle is giving customers a chance to win a year of free burritos with a Halloween costume contest on Instagram. Users of the image-sharing app can enter by posting a picture of themselves in costume at a Chipotle restaurant to their Instagram profile or Instagram Story with the @Chipotle tag, per an announcement.
- Chipotle will select eight finalists and share the contestants' photos on its Instagram Story. The burrito chain's followers can then vote for the "Boorito Champion" by "liking" their favorite costume on Nov. 1.
- Customers who are in costume at a Chipotle location on Oct. 31 from 3 p.m. to closing can order a burrito, bowl, salad or tacos for $4. Chipotle is offering the same discount to customers who place orders on the chain's app or online, for pickup and delivery, by using the code "BOORITO."
Chipotle's long-running costume contest is a fun way to engage customers in their Halloween celebrations while encouraging them to visit a restaurant for discounts on food. Thanks to the popularity of Halloween-related content on social media, the campaign has the possibility of going viral as Instagram users share their costumes on the image-sharing app and urge friends and followers to participate in the contest. Chipotle's announcement comes a week after Dunkin' debuted a similar costume contest that asks customers to post pictures of their themed outfits on Instagram with the hashtag #DunkinDressUpContest.
This year's contest is Chipotle's second use of Instagram as a marketing platform in as many months. The restaurant in September created a separate Instagram account to support a marketing push that emphasizes the quality ingredients in its food. Competitor Dos Toros has also seen high rates of engagement with Instagram, using a meme-focused account to boost its Instagram following more than 10 times. Its rival's success on the social platform may be a driving factor in Chipotle's recent focus on marketing campaigns on Instagram.
Despite these efforts and a new customer loyalty program, Chipotle's Q3 earnings are forecast to be "lackluster," according to MarketWatch. The company is set to have a better year in 2019 with expanded delivery service and new menu items that are currently in testing, such as nachos in Colorado and Minneapolis and bacon in Orange County, California. About three-fourths (73%) of customers who haven't eaten at Chipotle in the past six months would consider returning if new items were added to the menu, per a report by analysts at RBC Capital Markets, suggesting that Chipotle's marketing efforts may be focused on driving brand awareness and foot traffic for seasonal events or new products.