Chipotle Regulars Still Recommend Embattled Chain

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
March 27, 2016, 10:04 PM GMT+0

Since its multiple novovirus breakouts in the fall, Chipotle’s own customers have shown some staying power in recommending the battered chain to friends and family.

While the chain has seen its recommend scores among current customers drop by 17 points, the majority of customers are still recommending the brand to others.

YouGov BrandIndex measured Chipotle with its Recommend score, which asks respondents: "Would you recommend the brand to a friend?" A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.

To put the numbers in perspective, Chipotle was hovering at an 84 Recommend score with its current customers when the first novovirus breakouts occurred. They are currently at 70, which is still a full 63 points higher than the Recommendation scores Chipotle customers give an average fast food sector restaurant.

It is interesting to note that while Chipotle customer’s recommendation levels dropped significantly, they have not shown any signs of recovery yet. That may mean that a large number of Chipotle customers are still unsure or reluctant to recommend it to friends.

Comparatively, former customers of Chipotle (and that includes before the crisis) saw their Recommend scores drop much more significantly, falling from 39 to -4 at its low point in early February. However, unlike current Chipotle customers, this group has shown some modest recovery, with current recommend scores moving back into positive territory at 7.