Is Chipotle’s bitcoin burrito deal bullish for cryptocurrency?
“The premise is that we’ve lost our password to our account and if you enter in a correct code you can win either a free burrito or $500 in bitcoin all the way up to $25,000 in bitcoin,” Chipotle chief marketing officer Chris Brandt told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Thursday.
According to the promotion’s press release, the interactive game, dubbed “Burritos or Bitcoin” is a playful ode to Coil founder and CEO Stefan Thomas’ experience losing his hard drive containing $387 million worth of the popular cryptocurrency.
Each participant will have 10 tries to guess the six-digit code for a chance to win big. Those who fail to crack the code will still receive a special offer from the company.
The contest, which is live at burritosorbitcoin.com, runs through 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
Brandt said that the reaction to the promotion so far has been overwhelming.
“People love burritos and they certainly love bitcoin as well,” Brandt said. “Whenever we do one of these things, especially on a day like National Burrito Day, which we call kind of a “Chipotday”, an informal national holiday, we always get a lot of great fan interest. So I would encourage everyone to get on sooner versus later if they can.”
However, he confessed that Chipotle has no plans in the near future to adopt bitcoin as a form of payment in its restaurants.
“We have no plans to do that right now, there’s a lot of complexities involved in that,” Brandt said. “But if you had told me a year ago that we’d be doing something with bitcoin I probably would’ve been skeptical about that as well. So in this world, never say never, but we have no plans to take it as currency.”
Digital sales have boomed for the restaurant chain during the coronavirus pandemic, with online transactions accounting for nearly half of Chipotle’s total sales in 2020, compared to 20% of its total sales in 2019.
“We’re really hoping that we can hang onto a lot of those digital users, which were a lot of new users to Chipotle, as the in-restaurant business comes back,” Brandt added. “Every week it just seems like things are opening up a little bit more, restrictions are lessening, the amount of positive tests are going down and we are seeing more and more people moving about and that’s a good thing for our in-store restaurant business.”
Chipotle isn’t the only company to embrace cryptocurrencies.
Tesla began accepting bitcoin payments for its vehicles last month. Visa, Mastercard, BNY Mellon and PayPal have also announced that they plan to support cryptocurrencies in their services. In addition, Fidelity announced plans to launch its own Bitcoin ETF and BlackRock said it would add bitcoin as eligible investments to two of its funds.
Bitcoin was hovering near $59,000 on Thursday as of the time of publication.