Queso is a sensitive topic when you live in Texas, especially in Austin and other parts of Central Texas. Many consider the cheesy goodness a staple dietary item and believe it to be as valuable as gold. It comes as no surprise, then, that Texans are very critical when eating queso and will loudly express their dissatisfaction if the queso isn’t up to par. One brand that is familiar with loud cries of queso disapproval is Chipotle. Their queso not only disappointed customers in Texas, but nationwide.
Chipotle introduced their queso in September of 2017 and almost immediately received backlash for not living up to the standards of queso connoisseurs. The gritty texture and lack of consistency infuriated customers. As a result, Chipotle saw a 8% decrease in stocks and their revenue fell from an estimated $1.14 billion to $1.13 billion. Yet, Chipotle has not let this cheesy mess stop them from trying again! Last week, Chipotle posted an Instagram photo that immediately went viral. The post was a picture of a digital sign hanging below an underpass that read “Chipotle’s Queso Is Good Now.” In the caption, the brand stated “Queso Blanco. It’s here and it’s actually good.”
The post received tons of feedback and Chipotle took to the comment thread to thank every person who posted a positive comment concerning the announcement. While many people were glad changes had been made to the queso, others expressed their satisfaction with the original version. One Instagram user wrote “baby I loved the old queso” to which Chipotle responded “Look I know change is tough, but I think you’ll find room in your heart for this one too.”
There is a long list of brands that have experienced marketing campaign backfires. While some brands handled the misstep poorly and were unable to recover, others were able to turn their negatives into positives. We at TXADPR believe that Chipotle is handling the queso debacle perfectly. Instead of racing to the scene and apologizing, they quietly listened, accepted the negative feedback, and made changes. Their actions have regained the confidence of many queso lovers.
We at TXADPR want to know what you think! Join in the queso conversation and answer our questions:
- Do you like Chipotle’s new queso?
- Should brands apologize for a marketing campaign that didn’t work?
- When is it a good time to point out flaws in your company or brand?