I wrote about Qdoba’s (@QdobaMexGrill) clever email marketing a while back, and after some recent positive experiences with Qdoba, I decided I’d blog about them again. First of all, I’m a big fan of Chipotle. There’s even a running joke with my in-laws about how much I love the gourmet burrito chain. That being said, I haven’t been going to Chipotle as often as I used to. Part of it is because the closest Chipotle to my house is 4 miles away and the closest one to me at work is probably 8-9 miles away. Another reason is that because of slow economy, I’m watching what I spend more closely than ever.
Here’s where Qdoba comes in. Not only are there two Qdoba locations within about 2 miles of my house, but Qdoba is constantly sending out coupons through their permission email channels. When they launched their Craft 2 menu item last spring, they sent several emails letting their subscribers know about their Qdoba Craft Your Life microsite, which allowed you to play a short game, and rewarded you with a coupon at the end. The coupon was anything from a free order of chips & queso with the purchase of an entrée to a free entrée with the purchase of a drink.
Last fall, Qdoba launched a promotion, Food Lovers Fighting Burrito Boredom, which allowed customers to make their own entrée online – which they can spice up however they want – in order to help fight burrito boredom. Just like with the previous promotion, Qdoba allowed users to place once a day per email address and awarded them with a different coupon of varying worth. Though the coupon portion of the promotion is over now, Qdoba has kept the microsite alive to continue to educate their potential customers.
Although the US has started to see economic growth in the past few quarters, high gas prices threaten to dampen some of that growth for this summer. For a fast casual restaurant like Qdoba, they certainly don’t want to dilute their brand’s quality perception by focusing solely on coupons, but by creating innovate campaigns like this, Qdoba is showing that they understand the economy we’re in now and are trying to build up brand loyalty for when the economy rebounds and discounting isn’t as common.
In addition to their promotions, Qdoba is also doing a great job of creating real conversation and interacting with their customers (below is a tweet I sent out that they quickly replied to).