Chipotle Scores Word-Of-Mouth Win With Item It Might Not Make

March 29, 2013

chipotle_steak_quesarito

Over the past month, Chipotle has generated media and consumer buzz over a product that may not even exist.

The quesarito – a burrito wrapped in a cheese quesadilla – has been the subject of stories on Fast Company, BuzzFeed and even Daily Mail. The story goes that some Chipotle employees have gone rogue and created a gargantuan off-the-menu option that has whipped the QSR’s biggest fans into a frenzy.

Chipotle has publicly denied knowledge of the quesarito, but they can’t be disappointed with its cult following. This is really a great thing for the brand. Without spending a penny on advertisement, product development or market testing, Chipotle’s mythical quesarito has become a Holy Grail for its fans.

Never mind Chipotle’s official stance – more brands should be doing this! It’s a great reward for fans and it gets people and media talking.

Back when people purchased tangible music (see: vinyl records, cassette tapes, compact discs), it wasn’t uncommon to find a song or two buried at the end of an album after minutes of silence. These were called “hidden tracks,”  little chestnuts left off the final track list, and often with good reason. Usually they were cutting room leftovers, but in some cases, the songs just didn’t fit the album’s overall feel. Hidden tracks were a simple and effective way to reward fans with an unexpected surprise.

The quesarito is Chipotle’s hidden track – a tasty morsel to be sure, but it has no place on the restaurant’s relatively healthy menu.

Does the quesarito really exist? It doesn’t even matter, because after writing this, all I can think about is a succulent chicken burrito bowl. I bet you’re in the same boat.