If there’s one word that gets consumers clicking, it’s “free”. At least, that’s what shaky burrito brand Chipotle is betting on. The restaurant just teamed up with DoorDash to offer free delivery on orders of $10 or more through September 12th. As digital delivery ramps up and foot traffic stalls for the restaurant world, could this be Chipotle’s ticket out of its two-year slump?
In the past, Chipotle has experimented with other delivery partners in different markets, including Postmates, Factor, and Tapingo. It also introduced a sped-up mobile delivery system of its own earlier this year. However, its promotion with DoorDash might be the most enticing and approachable, given the free delivery cost and rising popularity of the platform.
While there’s no doubt that online order for delivery presents a potential growth opportunity for restaurant brands, how the opportunity rolls out for Chipotle is not as certain, as observed in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants. Sales via online orders are expected to jump from $20 billion in 2017 to $55 billion in 2022. But search volume for branded terms like “chipotle” and “papa johns” has reached a plateau as unbranded terms (e.g. “restaurants near me” and “pizza” continue to surge.
For up-and-coming brands, this indicates a juicy opportunity to find uncommitted customers through digital channels. Pairing up with DoorDash could not only gain Chipotle a new set of extra-lazy consumers, it could also stave off the effects of new entrants in the restaurant industry. But Chipotle isn’t the only quick chain hopping on the chance for salvation. Burger King also recently grilled up a new partnership with DoorDash, just in time for Labor Day weekend.