Personal Finance

Chipotle Goes Back to Playing Games

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Screen Shot

Image source: Chipotle.

Just when you thought that a return to positive comps would spell an end to the giveaways that Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) sprinkled through 2016, the former fast-casual darling is back with another online game where everybody's a winner.

Chipotle is teaming up with Avocados From Mexico for 'Cado Crusher, an online game that's the equivalent of Whack-a-Mole -- or, dare we say, Guac-a-Mole -- where animated ingredients pop out of holes in the ground. Players click on the ingredients that go into Chipotle's signature guacamole without inadvertently clicking on footballs, tomatoes, tortilla chips, and football helmets.

You don't need to be quick on the trigger finger to win some free food. Everybody that plays scores a free mobile offer for a free order of chips and guacamole with the purchase of any entree. The game kicked off today at , and it will be available through Feb. 7. The freebie must be claimed at a Chipotle near you by Feb. 28, and it's limited to one offer per mobile number.

It's a big seed

There's an educational component to the 'Cado Crusher promotion. Chipotle is showing off the all-natural ingredients that go into its guacamole, basically hand-mashed avocados, diced onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, citrus juice, and salt.

Everybody wins, and I'm not just saying that because everybody who plays the game scored the free order of chips and guac. Customers get a bonus side on their next visit. Chipotle itself should experience an uptick in traffic as folks stop by in the coming weeks to swap mobile codes for free food, and the viral nature of the promotion should expose the Chipotle brand to folks who may not have visited in a while.

This isn't the first time that Chipotle has put out an avocado-themed game to spur a giveaway. It kicked off the digital revelry 10 months ago with Guac Hunter , a photo hunt game where folks had to spot the differences between a pair of snapshots. Several months later, it rolled out A Love Story Game, an online version of the Concentration card game where players scored a BOGO entree offer.

Between the two games, we saw Chipotle introduce the three-month Chiptopia rewards program. With store-level comps finally turning positive last month and Chipotle entertaining a more permanent rewards program , it seemed as if we had seen the last of these short-lived casual game giveaways.

Worrywarts may argue that 'Cado Crusher is rolling out because comps are starting to slip or an official rewards program isn't in the cards for now, but this is just a simple two-week promo leading to Super Bowl weekend. Just whack the cilantro like a champ, enjoy your free chips and guac, and we'll see what Chipotle's marketing efforts cook up come March.

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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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