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RestaurantIamA Chipotle employee at a store that serves 500+ people daily. I have worked on 4/20, Cinco de Mayo, & July 4th. AMA!

Jul 9th 2017 by mountchichi • 42 Questions • 1672 Points

I've worked at Chipotle for half a year during opening, rush, and closing shifts. I've worked as a line server, grill operator, and prep cook, so needless to say, I've seen a lot! Ask away!

Edit: Ok guys! That'll be the end of the questions, but I will answer the recipe questions once I know them! Thank you very much for your time, and consider eating at Chipotle!

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/kAVBj

Q:

[deleted]

A:

She probably thought you were cute. Stay cute.


Q:

How good looking are you?

Serious question.

A:

I hate the number system, but I would say I'm a solid 7.


Q:

Why are most Chipotle's super stingy with the amount of "veggies" (grilled onions and peppers) they give out?

A:

The normal serving is 2oz, but everyone asks for them and they take 5 minutes to cook, so we go through them very fast. Come to my store tho, I'll give you more if you ask :)


Q:

Have you ever had a customer be genuinely surprised that guac is extra?

A:

Yes I have actually! Every time I forget to tell them that it's extra, they get upset because nobody told them. Just my luck, right?


Q:

I've been given free meals before because I go there so much. Is that normal?

A:

That's a manager's decision, so they probably like you. My manager has given free food to my family, my S.O., and to cops, so it varies store to store.


Q:

Any idea why the doors are 1 million lbs and impossible to easily open?

But really the food is amazing!

A:

It's a test. If you can open the door, you are worthy of our food!


Q:

Is this your first kitchen job? How is the management when it comes to making yourself food? Do you ever eat taco bell?

A:
  1. This is my first kitchen job! I worked serving the line for 2 months, then I moved to being a grill operator and a prep cook. Its very busy and it can have its stressful moments, but the job is very fun and fulfilling.

  2. As far as making yourself food, you get one free meal (entree, soda, chips & guac) per shift. If you work more than 5 hours, you get a 30 minute break.

  3. Whenever I visit my mom, we eat there all the time LMAO. I get the Steak Quesadilla combo, Cantina Chicken Power Burrito, and a Baja Blast.


Q:

I can never seem to get enough of the corn on my burrito, and when I ask for more, the burrito artist seems annoyed. Any idea why that might be?

A:

We run out corn pretty quickly, so your store might have managers that tell their employees to take it easy on the portions. However, your burrito artist should give you as much as you like. It's not a critical item (proteins, cheese, Guac), so there shouldn't a problem with getting more.


Q:

I'm not from the States but is it genuinely called a burrito artist?

A:

No, but at Subway they call the employees Sandwich Artists. It's now a meme to call any fast food restaurant worker an "X" artist.


Q:

Im fairly certain i have a legit addiction to Chipotle. Its wonderful. But I gotta ask, are you guys told to be a little stingy on the rice? I gotta ask them 2 or 3 times for extra rice just to get decent portion.

A:

Our normal size is only 4oz of rice, so it's understandable to want more!


Q:

How often do you hear about some asking about E.Coli?

A:

Once every couple of weeks.

The biggest complaint I had was this woman was complaining that the steak "looked bad," meaning she wanted it cooked well instead of medium (the standard). We tried to explain to her that the steak comes pre-cooked and that we caramelize it and temp it properly, but she was still like "I don't care, it looks disgusting. No wonder you guys had E.Coli!"

Give us a break.

EDIT: Sorry if what I said sounded confusing. Yes, we do marinate and grill steak at the store. It still comes to the store safe to eat (what I meant by pre-cooked). We grill the Chicken, Steak, Chorizo, and the Fajita Veggies.


Q:

When I hit up my store about 45 mins before closing, and all the pre-bagged chips are gone, they sometimes get them "from the back". On several occasions, they were stale so I've stopping getting them.

Why is this ?

And thanks for doing this AMA.

A:

We have a deployment sheet every day that tells us how much of what needs to be made on that day. There are split into two periods: during opening shift and after lunch rush (around 2 PM). This includes frying chips, so from 10:45am until whenever they are sold out, we use the morning batch. After that, we fry more chips at 2PM that will last us through the rest of the day. Since they can't all fit on the shelves, we store them in the kitchen area ("In the back"). So if you're coming in 45 Minutes before closing, they were made in the afternoon :/

I do my best to make sure the bags are tight so they stay fresher longer, but I can't guarantee all stores will do the same.


Q:

Because you've worked so many rushed or busy shifts in such a short amount of time, has it turned you off to eating there? If not, what is your go-to meal?

A:

I do eat there every shift, so I have tried and tasted everything in every combo you can think of. I am a little tired of the food from eating there so much, but I've never been turned off due to rushes.

I usually get one of two orders:

  1. Bowl with Brown Rice, Fajitas, Extra Chicken, Mild Salsa, Cheese, Vinaigrette, & Guac on the side.

  2. Tacos with Carnitas, Fajitas, Medium Salsa, Cheese, & Guac on the side.


Q:

Do you notice that I steal a bottle of sauce every time?

A:

That's Cash's responsibility, so I don't see it.

I did see a couple bring 5 different bottles of Tabasco outside while they were eating once, so you're not the only one who loves the stuff.


Q:

Ok I may be paranoid here, but every time I get a water cup, someone from cash just happens to start cleaning or doing something near the soda fountain. Do they do this on purpose so people dont steal soda? It makes me pretty uncomfortable tbh.

A:

Probably. Our store doesn't do that, but it sounds like a lot of stores are tired of people getting free soda.


Q:

I never had Chipotle. Is it good?

A:

It's very tasty! Think of it like Subway for Mexican Food. You choose the way you want your food served in (Burrito, Tacos, Bowl) and you choose what you get to fill in. You get once choice of protein but you can have another/more meat for an additional charge. The rest is free except Guacamole, which will cost you anywhere from $1.95 - $2.45 depending on your location. Try it out!


Q:

Did you guys change your chicken recipe in the past year or so? I swear your chicken tastes fake now.

A:

We used to marinate the chicken in-house, but now it comes to the store pre-marinated. Otherwise, the chicken was probably cooked to long on the grill, which is a common mistake.


Q:

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?

A:

Whenever I work on the line, every now and then a customer will lean on the glass barrier to overlook all the food and point to what they want. What's even worse is they still lean on the glass when moving down the line, which leaves the glass all smeared and is quite annoying.

Our store has regulars who do this Every. Single. Day.


Q:

I smile excessively at the employees who make my orders. In my head, I think this nets me slightly larger portions. Do you give more to smiling and polite customers?

A:

We do our best to make sure our portioning sizes are the same, and during the rush our goal is throughput, but subconsciously we probably give more to nicer customers. Work can be pretty taxing as is, so it's nice to see a happy customer once in a while!


Q:

Has your store ever had to deal with one of the ecoli outbreaks?

A:

Our store didn't as far as I'm aware. We did just score a 99% on our Health Inspection, so that leads me to believe we have always been vary safe and sanitary.


Q:

At some fast food restaurants employees will not eat at their restaurants because of stuff they see, so I want to know, would you eat at Chipotle even though you know what goes on behind the scenes?

A:

Absolutely! I eat there every shift during my break.

We have many methods and procedures that ensure that our food is safe and clean. We regularly take temperatures of our food, and our store just scored a 99% on our Health Inspection.

In fact, part of our culture is to taste test all the food to make sure its up to standards. Other restaurants don't want customers to nibble on samples of food, but for us, if we don't like the taste, we will not serve it.


Q:

What's the best way to get a monster burrito w little to no additional charge? (gauc included of course)

A:

First and foremost, I recommend getting a bowl with a tortilla on the side. You get more food, its less messy, and its a lot easier on us.

Regardless, you are allowed to have as much of anything you want except Protein (Chicken, steak, carnitas, etc.) & Guac. This goes for rice, beans, salsa, whatever. So have it. Just don't go so excessive you waste a lot of food.


Q:

Why does Chipotle not have queso?

Edit: Yes I know queso is Spanish for cheese. I'm referring specifically to blanco queso dip you typically get at Mexican Restaurants. Moe's has it, I believe Willy's does too. Chipotle does not.

A:

To be honest, I don't know. I've asked my managers and they haven't given me a solid answer, so it must be a corporate decision. I know that's not a great answer, I apologize :/


Q:

What's the best item on or off the menu that I should order tomorrow?

A:

My favorite thing to order is the carnitas, they are very tasty!


Q:

What do you like most about what you do?

A:

I really enjoy being able to come in every day preparing and cooking delicious food. We a lot of who people come to chipotle saying the food tastes excellent, and I get a great sense of job satisfaction hearing that.

I also love the people who I work with. We talk about a lot of different topics, have tons of inside jokes, similar music tastes, and are all about teamwork. You need to have a good team to serve hundreds of people a day, and Chipotle is no exception.


Q:

I just applied to Chipotle! Got any advice for the hiring process?

A:

Sure! For the interview process, I was asked these 4 questions:

  1. Introduction: Tell me a bit about yourself?

  2. What do you know about Chipotle?

  3. Do you have any service or volunteer experience?

  4. What are your passions outside of work/school?

You'll probably be interviewing with one of the managers, and may be doing a group interview where you are interviewing with other candidates. Don't be intimidated, its so they can review more people faster. Other than that, I wish you the best of luck!


Q:

Is the staff trained to deal with orders that have allergy issues?

A:

We are! You can just ask us to wash our hands, change gloves, change spoons... whatever you need to feel safe. Usually it will be one employee that will take you down the line so the bowls do get into contact with other employee's gloves.


Q:

What is your most interesting/weird customer related story?

A:

One time I was on the line during peak making this guy's buritto, and he gets to salsa and asks it to be remade because he can't have dairy and some cheese strands fell in . I'm thinking he has some allergy or lactose problems, so I wipe down the line and remake his burrito. We get down towards salsa again, and he asks for SOUR CREAM.

I look at my employees and we all have this "What the hell?" look on our face, since we just went through all that trouble of removing any dairy from the line and he just asked for it.


Q:

Why do you guys close so early? I figured it might have to do with keeping fresh food at all times but a burrito at 2am would come in handy sometimes.

Is the music streamed from corporate? Sometimes the one I go to has some pretty out of control sounds.

A:

I've heard a couple of suggestions to have a 24/7 chipotle, but we would need a lot more manpower and a lot more food, so it's pretty hard to pull off.

It is! The music used to be hipster versions of popular songs, but now we got quite a nice variety. My favorite songs are:


Q:

How many customers have you had sex with?

A:

One, my S.O. ;)


Q:

Seriously though, are there beauty standards for hiring? My two local stores seem to be staffed entirely by 20 something part time models (guys and girls)

A:

I mean it certainly helps, and I don't complain.


Q:

I started keto a while back, is it cheaper to order a salad or burrito bowl with no rice and beans? Double chicken

A:

Both a bowl and a salad cost the same, what matters is your choice of protein that you put in it (plus guac) that determines the price.


Q:

Is it a requirement to have multiple piercings and tattoos before you are qualified to run the tortilla press? Every store seems to follow this protocol.

A:

LMAO! It just happens. We have employees who are great with tats and piercings or without them. I don't have any, but working there has inspired me to get some!


Q:

Do you make as much memes as my store? We make more memes than chicken?

Edit: second one should be a statement not a question.

A:

Do you make more memes than chicken?


Q:

What's the protocol when someone cuts themselves? That knife seems very sharp.

A:

One of my co-workers tried to catch the knife when he dropped it and sliced his finger. We had to rush him to the hospital and file a report, but nothing serious happened. When we cut, we wear this cut glove made out of chainmail so you don't accidentally cut yourself. That knife WILL NOT go through it.


Q:

Do you guys get annoyed when I ask for double meat only after you've put the first scoop on? I wouldn't mind asking before, but then I only get two smaller scoops.

A:

Nope! As long as you know it costs extra, I don't mind.


Q:

What is the significance of 4/20? Was there more customers than normal? Do they plan the shifts ahead of time for this crowd? Are you a pothead?

A:
  1. 4/20 is a "holiday" where a lot of people smoke marijuana. Since they get the munchies, they are going to be eating out a lot more.

  2. Normally we have a slow start that gradually builds to the rush, but that day we had about 25 people come in the second it opened.

  3. We did.

  4. Nope.


Q:

Thats interesting. Why did Leia hug Rey instead of Chewie?

A:

I think it's because Rey is Leia's Niece (Luke's Daughter).


Q:

Do you think Padme ever loved Anakin or he was unknowingly using the force to influence her?

A:

I think she did, Anakin was gleaming hope and innocence in The Phantom Menace, so it probably carried over in the next episode.


Q:

I stop going to Chipotle because I feel their chicken is little raw or chewy. Have you heard this before? Can I ask they to grill it better?

A:

If that happens, that means the chicken has been undercooked/overcooked, which is a pretty common mistake for people who are new on the grill. There's a pretty strict timing window for cooking it, so it takes some time for them to get used to it.

Unfortunately, if you want them to grill it better/have fresh chicken, it'll take 10 minutes to make. Sorry :/


A:

I've seen this link around everywhere, and I think in his situation, it's justified. He lives 45 minutes away from his house and the food will get soggy otherwise, which I can understand. He lives in a city where everything closes at 5pm, so he didn't really have a choice to buy the ingredients separate from another store.

However, if you ask for this in the middle of a rush when we have dozens of people waiting, I hate you.


Q:

Black or pinto beans?

A:

Pinto. Especially when they are fresh!