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Free Guacamole on National Avocado Day Is Chipotle’s Latest Step in Recovery

Chipotle’s taking full advantage of the latest “food holiday,” offering free guacamole to customers that order an entree via its website or mobile app Tuesday. All you have to do is enter the promo code “AVOCADO”.

Free food isn’t that uncommon on these sorts of holidays. It’s a quick and easy marketing vehicle that packs the stores, since it’s hard to resist free grub. But for Chipotle, the stakes are a little higher than other chains.

In its press release announcing the giveaway, Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, said “We want to show our love for the avocado and reward our customers’ guac obsession.”

Fair enough, but Chipotle also wants to lure back customers who swore off the chain after its E. coli outbreak in 2015-2016. (The company eventually settled lawsuits with more than 100 customers.)

To do that, it has made some notable changes, adding menu items like Mexican chocolate milkshake and nachos, installing drive-through windows, and consolidating locations, while adding a “Happy Hour” menu. The company also hired a new CEO.

So far, the results have been positive. Chipotle’s same-store sales in the second quarter rose 3.3%, beating Wall Street expectations for 2.7%, according to Consensus Metrix.

Adding free guacamole to the mix, even for a day? That should increase food traffic even more. And while some of those people are there solely for the giveaway, others might put Chipotle back in their restaurant rotation. And, to the company, that’s worth sacrificing a few avocados.