Here's a back-to-school deal that's sure to keep students hydrated as they get back into the swing of their studies. On Monday, fast-casual burrito restaurant Chipotle announced that throughout the entire month of September, all high school and college students can enjoy free fountain drinks with the purchase of any entrée.
The offer is valid for high school and college students with valid school ID. Home-schooled students are welcomed to take advantage of the promotion too. The freebies include fountain soft drinks and iced tea, but not bottled beverages. Free drinks are only good with the in-store purchase of an entrée.
The new promotion from Chipotle appears like the latest in a long line of strategies to help the company recover from a rash of E. Coli outbreaks around the country last year. Once the darling of the chain restaurant industry, Chipotle sales plummeted after customers at locations around the country became ill.
Chipotle closed all restaurants for a few hours on a Monday in February in order to update employees on new health procedures, while simultaneously broadcasting the message to the public that it takes food safety extremely serious. The company has since rolled out periodic new promotions to woo back customers, including coupons for free burritos and special giveaways for kids and other groups. While Chipotle's menu has famously remained unchanged for years, it added chorizo with a rare expansion this summer.
The company launched a new loyalty program this summer too. It's called Chiptopia, and promises free entrees based on how often customers visit Chipotle and get food during the course of each month. And yes, the transactions that include free fountain drinks in September will count toward customers' Chiptopia account and help bring bonus burritos or bowls down the line.