Could the Internet give restaurants a better way to deal with the many charitable requests they receive each day? One company is giving it a try: Chipotle Mexican Grill, whose current “No Junk” campaign benefits both its restaurants and its charity partner, with zero hands-on effort required at the store level.
How? Interested participants drive the program by forwarding unwanted e-mails to email@example.com. For every 100,000 junk e-mails it receives, Chipotle donates $10,000 to The Lunch Box, a program that distributes 100 school-tested, junk-foodfree recipes to schools nationwide. The effort ends when 500,000 e-mails have been submitted, at which point Chipotle will have given away $50,000.
The genius of this program is that it positions Chipotle as anti-spam and pro-healthy eating, two values its customer base likely embraces, too. And when junk-mail senders visit the chain's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chipotle?v=app_114994278523318) to see a running total of how much junk mail has come in and how many dollars have gone out, they are given the opportunity to opt in to Chipotle's e-mail list and learn more about the company's “Food With Integrity” commitment.
It's a neat package, and we expect similar programs to emerge as other restaurants learn how to leverage the Internet to streamline their charitable giving.