No such thing as a free Chipotle lunch

I shared the major details about this on my facebook page, and had some dialogue with my friends regarding my “Larry David” moment. I’ll elaborate on some points here.

I, like many people, stopped going to Chipotle amid the late 2015/early 2016 scandals pertaining to incidents of potentially contaminated food and spread of other illnesses. For the record, I like Chipotle very much. Their model allows for customization of meals that correlate with different ways of eating for my different goals. There are few places as versatile, tasty, and adaptable as Chipotle.

I went back for the first time in about 4 months two weeks ago. With the promise of a plan to rectify issues in the works, I decided I wasn’t going to let the media scare me any more. I really should have never become a prisoner to media bullshit in the first place, but after being sick with an intestinal parasite for almost 10% of 2015 (not at all related to eating at Chipotle), I really didn’t want to take any chances.


Early last week, I texted some weird guy for a free burrito. I had a coupon on my phone for it. So last Thursday, I grabbed lunch at Chipotle. After I paid, as I waited for my order of guac, I was standing to the side. After about 2 minutes, the cashier asked me what I was waiting for, and I told her. She apologized and asked the guac scooper lady to get me a side of guac. The guac scooper lady looked at me and goes, “I just gave it to him.”

Now, I was just standing there with a plastic basket containing a burrito in one hand and an empty water cup in the other. So I nodded my head “no”. She insisted that she gave it to me. Most days, I’m non-confrontational, but I had to respond in this instance, so I said, “perhaps it was for another customer” then she handed it to me by basically slapping it into my hand.

I worked front end in a deli for years, so I know how tedious and repetitive things get. I commiserate, especially since her only function seems to be scooping 1-2 items into little plastic cups. But if someone ever told me they didn’t get something they paid for, I wouldn’t argue with them, especially if I could visually verify. And I sure as hell wouldn’t slap it into their hand.

But the part that really gets me is that this is a backfire of a few things I should have known better.

First off, I should have left well enough alone with the free burrito, which would have been the only thing I got if I were paying. Second, I’ve given so many people shit about ordering the guac. My exact quote is “guac is for suckers” due to the kind of high upcharge in many cases.

That day, though, there was much more going on than my admittedly trivial interactions with the staff. The food preparation and service areas were in complete disarray. There was rice all over the counter and liquid from beans was dripping into other steam table trays. Staff were opening cardboard boxes right above the steam table area and adjacent to the plancha where a bunch of chicken was being cooked.

Let’s put it this way: 3 days after a company wide closure for training, I would have expected a little better. Then again, this was the Stuyvesant Plaza Chipotle which, in my opinion, has been the most inconsistent and disappointing Chipotle in the past.


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