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Chipotle lets Roblox players roll virtual burritos into real food

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Dive Brief:

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill will return to Roblox to launch Chipotle Burrito Builder, according to a press release. The simulation will allow players to roll virtual burritos and earn the brand’s in-experience currency, Burrito Bucks, which can be exchanged for entree codes on the chain’s digital platforms.
  • Chipotle Burrito Builder will go live on April 7 at 6:30 pm ET at The experience is ’90s-themed, paying homage to the chain’s founding in 1993. Players can wear and unlock ’90s-inspired uniforms and other virtual items inspired by ’90s fashion. 
  • Chipotle claims to be the first brand to let Roblox players earn in-experience currency for real-world items, the first national restaurant brand to serve virtual food on the platform and the first to launch a real-world menu item inspired by the metaverse community.

Dive Insight:

Chipotle’s second custom experience on Roblox points to how marketers’ early attempts on the metaverse could evolve going to forward to deliver value for consumers and a stronger cross-over with the real world.

The new activation ties in-game activities to real-world food in a way that delivers on some of the promise of the metaverse, which has quickly emerged as a favored digital landscape on which marketers can engage with young consumers. By letting Roblox players roll burritos and earn in-game currency that can be turned into entree codes on the chain’s digital platforms, Chipotle is bridging the divide between the real and virtual worlds and providing value to consumers.

The experience is inspired by Chipotle fans on social media who compared the complexity of rolling burritos to playing a video game, and comes as marketers look to make metaverse activations more valuable for consumers.

“We’ve tapped into play-to-earn, an emerging engagement model in the metaverse, to launch our newest experience on Roblox that celebrates the iconic Chipotle burrito,” Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt said in the press release. “We’re blending the metaverse and real-world elements of our brand to take the Chipotle fan experience to a whole new level.”

Launching on National Burrito Day, the Chipotle Burrito Builder experience allows Roblox players to pick their uniform before placing and fulfilling virtual orders. The first 100,000 players who successfully build and roll burritos will earn enough Burrito Bucks to exchange them for an entree code. The top five players each day from April 7 to April 13 will win free burritos for a year, and a side quest allows players to deliver burritos to unlock additional rewards. 

Chipotle was an early adopter of Roblox, bringing its annual, Halloween-themed “Boorito” experience to the platform and giving away $1 million worth of free burritos on it in 2021. For its return, Chipotle is trumpeting several firsts, claiming to be the first national restaurant brand to serve virtual food on the platform and the first to let its loyalty members exchange rewards points for Roblox Gift Cards. It also polled Twitter users to launch the first real-world menu item created by the metaverse community for a national restaurant brand. Chipotle’s early adopter status has helped it drive digital engagement and sales that have spurred its growth.

While embracing cutting edge technology, Chipotle’s metaverse activation also relies on nostalgia, a frequent tactic of marketers. The Roblox experience allows players to enter a store modeled after the chain’s first location, which opened in 1993, in an area inspired by the restaurant’s Denver neighborhood. Along with ’90s-inspired uniforms, players can unlock items inspired by ’90s fashion, including a Chipotle Foil Fanny Pack and Chipotle Cheese Froster Tips. The brand claims that its millennial fans have made trips to the first Chipotle restaurant, an experience it is replicating for Gen Z fans on the metaverse.