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At the same time as troubled fast food chain Chipotle announced that Q1 same-store sales were down almost a third, a financial result that seems directly related to the series of food safety issues tat afflicted it last year, the company said it may introduce a "temporary rewards program" designed "to bring skeptical customers back to the fast-casual burrito chain."

The story notes that Chipotle has seen the largest declines among its best customers - the people who used to visit its stores at least 25 time a year. Saying that it needs to drive up sales to those customers, getting them back into the habit of eating at Chipotle, the company says it is considering some sort of incentive program that would at least start out as temporary.

Eater reports that Chipotle also plans to introduce chorizo to its menu, with CEO Steve Ells describing it as "a blend of chicken and pork spicy sausage, cooked on our plancha" with lots of "crispy bits, nice spice, and really good texture."

However, Eater also notes that "Ells did not comment on the fact that, traditionally, chorizo is made from pork only."
KC's View:
I remain skeptical about Chipotle's long-term prospects. I'm normally a big fan of loyalty programs, but there is just a sense that Chipotle is flailing a bit, willing to try anything to re-instill some level of trust on the part of its shoppers.

I would remind Chipotle of one thing - that an effective loyalty program demonstrates to consumers that the company is loyal to them, as opposed to just buying, or renting, their allegiance based on discounts.