Embattled burrito chain Chipotle has already tried to regain customers' favor with free food and a rewards program, and now it appears to be taking the next logical step. In certain markets throughout the Midwest, Chipotle is pouring discounted or free alcoholic beverages as part of a new happy hour promotion, reports Business Insider.
The boozy deals are available in seven states — Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin — along with the city of Chicago. Offers vary by state, but details on Chipotle's website reveal half-off and two-for-one specials from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at participating locations. The promotion runs through the end of September.
Consumerist visited a Chipotle location in Des Moines, Iowa, where two-for-one margaritas and beers are currently available. Although, no signage advertising the promotion was found. An employee wasn't able to tell Consumerist why the restaurant wasn't highlighting the offer.
Chipotle fans outside the aforementioned markets who are thirsting for some free drinks may be out of luck. Spokesperson Chris Arnold tells Eater "it's really a regional promotion" at the moment, but he notes the chain has offered similar deals in the past. Chipotle is at the mercy of local ordinances that dictate what sorts of booze discounts it can deploy.
"There are limitations on where you can do promotions like this based on liquor laws and the like," Arnold said. "So it's possible that we'd do it elsewhere, but always within the limits of various liquor laws."
Chipotle is still in the process of recovering from multiple foodborne-illness outbreaks in 2015. Last month, the chain announced same-store sales in the second quarter of fiscal year 2016 were down 23.6 percent.
• Chipotle Now Giving Away Free Booze At Some Midwest Locations [Consumerist]