Monday, January 7, 2008

Chipotle axes free drinks for students

As of 2008, both the Burbank and Pasadena locations of Chipotle no longer give free soft drinks with a student ID.

The Burbank location told me that drinks would be free for high school students. I'm imagining this is a new franchise-wide policy, since the free drink seemed to be universal. I even rode that wave in Chicago back in the day.

This baffled me at first. Why would Chipotle do this? Soft drinks cost the establishment next to nothing. College, grad students, educators etc., are generally poor. High school students are more likely to have financial support from their parents, especially when it comes to food.

Then it dawned on me. Alcohol.

Offering 21+ patrons a free soft drink detracts sales from their alcoholic beverage menu. Think about how much more likely the average college/grad student would be to purchase a beer if they couldn't get a free drink.

I doubt Chipotle will lose any customers over this. We're already addicted.