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Chipotle shares fall after report says chain still struggling to win back customers

An employee serves customers in a Chipotle restaurant
Andrew Caballero Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
An employee serves customers in a Chipotle restaurant

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill fell more than 3 percent Tuesday after a report said traffic remains weak for the burrito chain.

According to StreetAccount, a report by M Science said checks remain weak. StreetAccount said it had no other details. M Science did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

"We announce earnings for the third quarter later this month," Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle, told CNBC. "We'll provide a full look at our financials and where things stand at that time."

Chipotle is expected to report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 25.

The casual dining chain continues to try to boost sluggish sales and foot traffic in its restaurants, which have yet to recover from a series of high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks last year.

Chipotle's same-store sales plunged nearly 30 percent in the first quarter, when it reported its first quarterly loss as a public company. The company swung back to profitability in the second quarter, but same-store sales declined 26.5 percent.

Shares of the burrito chain are down more than 42 percent year over year. Chipotle has been working hard to win back customers of all ages with promotions, freebies and a temporary loyalty program.

A whopping 85,000 people are slated to receive free catering from Chipotle for successfully completing the burrito chain's Chiptopia loyalty program, Arnold told CNBC earlier this month.

The company received a boost from Chiptopia during the second quarter. On a call with analysts in July, the chain said it planned another program, though it has not yet determined if it will be permanent.

Chipotle CEO Steve Ells noted that July sales had improved by 200 to 300 basis points because of the loyalty program, which has attracted more than 3.6 million participants.

The company announced on Monday that it will once again offer $3 burritos, bowls, salads and tacos on Halloween to customers who arrive at stores in costumes. The promotion is another move by the burrito chain to bolster foot traffic.

Correction: This story was revised to correct that the M Science report was cited by StreetAccount.