Every marketer’s dream, the Super Bowl, is around the corner. What better time to launch an effective (and expensive) advertising campaign? The recent hiccup in Chipotle’s restaurants with food poisoning reports have called for major action in their public relations department. Chipotle is offering a $50 discount on all catering orders during the Super Bowl to take advantage of the higher sales in food at this time. Along with this there has been interviews with the founder and CEO of Chipotle about how he will “make the food coming into our restaurants safer than ever before.” They are making efforts to uphold this promise by offering paid sick leave to employees so they are encouraged to get fully well before coming back to work.
What I thought was interesting about this move is that Chipotle is strategically using the popular event of the Super Bowl to help save face after the food poisoning occurrences. Not only will the discounted deals encourage consumers to buy more Chipotle meals, but by associating Chipotle’s name with an uplifting social event such as the Super Bowl, only good feelings are left towards the brand.
In rivalry against Chipotle, Freshii, another Mexican-inspired restaurant, plans to capitalize on the discounts that Chipotle are offering. While Chipotle plans to close for a day on February 8thto host a company-wide meeting about what could have caused their customers to become sick, Freshii is offering their own discounts on this same day. To me, this sounds like a friendly reminder to the consumers saying “hey, Chipotle made you sick and are closing for the day to talk about it so you should buy from Freshii instead!” This is definitely smart on Freshii’s part, however, I do not believe it will hinder Chipotle’s name that badly. Chipotle as a brand is already so well-known and liked by Mexican food lovers that it would have to take a little more than a few sick cases to stop their sales.