This Is What It’s Really Like To Work At Chipotle

This Is What It’s Really Like To Work At Chipotle


This Is What It’s Really Like To Work At Chipotle: If you’re considering working at Chipotle, you may be wondering what it’s really like to work there. While it’s known for its delicious burritos and bowls, what’s it like behind the counter?

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

In this article, we’ll provide an honest and detailed account of what it’s really like to work at Chipotle. From the work environment to the customers to the company culture, we’ll cover it all. So, if you’re thinking about applying to Chipotle or are just curious, keep reading!

Some of that rings true for the people who actually work at Chipotle (hello, tuition reimbursement), but it’s not all love and happiness for every employee.

Long hours and high expectations can take a toll, not to mention all the customers who complain about guac costing extra or order a quesarito during the lunch rush.

This is what it’s really like to work at Chipotle, from the good to the bad to the humorous.

Chipotle Workers Arrive Early And Stay Late

When former Chipotle employee Eryn Lampkin wrote about the restaurant for Spoon University, she said of the workload, “Life as a Chipotle employee is all day, erry day.”

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

Lampkin stated that, despite the fact that many Chipotle stores are Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., people who open the store arrive at 6 a.m. for food prep and those who close “can leave as late as midnight.”

That’s a lot of chopping, mixing, and grilling in the morning, followed by a lot of fastidious cleaning in the evening. It has previously caused some friction between employees and the chain.

The student newspaper at George Mason University discovered that certain people who worked the closing shift were required to stay past midnight on a regular basis, and on some nights until 5 a.m., but they were not fairly compensated for their time.

The hours that Chipotle staff work depend on how busy the restaurant is. Nonetheless, workers and former workers said in a thread on r/Chipotle that it was not uncommon to have to arrive at least two hours before opening and stay at least an hour after closing. 

Chipotle Workers Cut Many Onions During Preparation

If you’re wondering, “Why does it take so long to make a burrito?” think about how many things go into making the perfect burrito with Chipotle’s fresh-cut meat and vegetables.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

There is one element that stands out from the rest: onions. Lampkin wrote in her story about Spoon University that the people who work in the kitchen are “always chopping fresh onions.” Yes, that means a lot of tears from the onions.

“Sometimes, even when you were working on the food line outside of the kitchen, your eyes would start to water and burn,” Lampkin wrote. “The smell stuck to me and my things so much that I still get a little queasy when I smell onions.”

Because onions are used in almost every dish on the menu, there is a lot of chopping to do. Chipotle has more than 10 dishes that require onions. Compare Chipotle’s menu, prices, and dining experience.

Chipotle Employees Do a Lot Of Cleaning

People who ate at Chipotle starting getting sick starting in the summer of 2015. The New York Times says that Norovirus, salmonella, and E. coli sicknesses were linked to Chipotle. More than 500 illnesses were reported over the course of eight months.

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Clearly, something had gone wrong, and one of Chipotle’s solutions was to become extremely clean even to the point of requiring workers to attend “cleaning parties,” according to Business Insider.

The worker said that every employee washes their hands with soap and water and then uses hand sanitizer at the top of every hour. Every used tool is put into a mixture of detergents that cleans and disinfects and is changed every hour.

Chipotle kept trying to be clean years after the first cases by adding more food safety rules in 2018. Employees on Reddit have raved about how clean the office is, so it seems like the work is valued.

Still, there are a lot of rules to follow when cleaning, which is one reason why so many hours are spent working after closing time.

One Reddit user said that the daily cleaning list is way too long when you think about all the things that need to be cleaned, like the floors, desks, tables, outside area, trash cans, toilets, soda machines, and more.

Chipotle Employees Receive sick pay and paid Vacations

Most people don’t think of jobs in the fast food business as having great benefits. But at Chipotle, employees get some of the same benefits that office workers do. Everyone who works for the company, whether full-time or part-time, gets paid sick leave and paid holidays.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

On the perks page for Chipotle, it says that crew members get 24 hours of sick time (depending on how sick leave is handled in each state) and up to 40 vacation hours a year after working there for a year.

The 2015 norovirus outbreak in Boston made it even more clear how important it is to keep workers healthy. According to, the sickness was caused by a worker who had been sick and then went back to work.

By giving paid sick days, Chipotle helps not only its employees but also its guests and the company itself. This is because it keeps sick people away from the food, which is good for everyone. It’s more than just time off.

Chipotle has a texting service that lets sick workers get in touch with doctors when they need to. Business Insider says that the company has nurses call in to check on workers. The same nurses also make sure that the person who called in sick isn’t just hungover.

Business Insider reported that Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said at a 2019 conference, “The nurse confirms that it’s not a hangover—you’re really sick—and then we pay for the day off to get healthy again.”

Chipotle Offers Tuition Reimbursement For Workers

Chipotle also provides tuition reimbursement for both salaried and hourly employees, which is considerably superior to the type of perk provided by the average fast food restaurant.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

According to the Chipotle perks page, students can earn up to $5,250 per year for education.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, workers must maintain a C average in order to get reimbursement, and the classes must be attended at an authorized institution or university. The purpose is to assist in the recruitment of young people who may stay with the organization.

“We have a lot of folks who, if they realize they could make a career with Chipotle, would stick with us while they’re in college and take advantage of our tuition-reimbursement program,” JD Cummings, a recruitment strategy manager at Chipotle, told Nation’s Restaurant News.

“They may discover that the path to restaurateur is an amazing path that they may not have considered.”

In 2019, the company went a step further by launching a debt-free degree program. Chipotle stated in an announcement regarding the program’s launch that it will fund 100 percent of tuition upfront for 75 various business and technology degrees.

Workers must be on the job for 120 days before they can get a degree from colleges such as the University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Wilmington University, and others through a relationship with the tuition assistance provider Guild Education.

Chipotle Employees Report Being Underpaid And Chronically Understaffed

Chipotle’s workers have benefits like sick days, vacation days, and tuition reimbursement, but they have to do a lot of work to get them.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

Glassdoor says that crew members make an average of $10 an hour, which isn’t bad when you compare it to other fast food jobs and think about the perks.

Still, people who work at Chipotle often complain about how much they have to do.

One worker wrote on the r/Chipotle Reddit channel, “You have to move as fast as light on the line, with the dishes, or with anything else if you want to get out of there on time.

They also said that the place is “always full and always short-staffed.” In a different thread, someone else said that the work pace is “just way too fast” and that the job is “physically and emotionally draining.”

In one case, the worker remembered a boss who was angry when they took 15 seconds to catch their breath and were told they weren’t “hustling.”

It’s not something new. Workers and people who used to work have been battling for years with the amount of work to pay ratio.

A 2012 article on AOL said that a Chipotle employee from Ohio made a review of the company on Glassdoor that said, “Full-time work for part-time pay.” Another reviewer from Texas said, “The amount of pressure for a burrito joint is unheard of!”

Chipotle Has a History of Exploiting The Hours of Teenage Workers

Even though Chipotle helps with college costs, it’s not always easy for high school or college students to work there. The New York Times says that in January 2020, Chipotle paid a $1.4 million fine to end a child labor case in Massachusetts.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

The case was about how some Chipotle restaurants in the state let teens work too many hours and too late at night.

By agreeing to the deal, Chipotle didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, but the state of Massachusetts said that the company broke more than 13,000 child labor laws in the state between 2015 and 2019. This is the biggest child labor case in Massachusetts’s history.

Chipotle also agreed to pay $500,000 to pay for a program to train young workers and programs to educate people about child labor and keep an eye on it.

The charges show how dependent Chipotle is on its young workers. In high school, 16- and 17-year-olds worked more than nine hours a day and more than 48 hours a week, according to the deal.

Learning To Roll a Chipotle Burrito Takes Time

That’s great if you’re a very hungry customer, but for the person whose job it is to roll that burrito, there are many ways things can go wrong.

There are a lot of posts on Reddit’s r/Chipotle about how to roll a good burrito, how to deal with burritos that are hard to roll, and which burritos are hopeless.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

A good Chipotle burrito roll can feel like magic, which is probably why the Denver magazine 5280 made a movie in 2013 about the right way to roll a burrito.

In 2012, a former Chipotle worker wrote on Reddit about how Chipotle’s training for burrito assemblers took a whole day.

There are different ways to do things right. A former worker who wrote on Reddit said that one way is to put the guacamole and sour cream at the back and the cheese or lettuce at the end. Then, as you roll the burrito, push all the ingredients together as if you were trying to scoop under the tortilla.

The most trouble comes from things like salsa, beans, and sour cream that are wet. Or, as one Reddit user put it, “Just because you order a burrito that’s mostly liquid doesn’t mean you’ll always get a perfect roll.”

Some burritos are just doomed to fail. And there is always another tortilla ready for those who want to try again and again.

Lots of Chipotle Customers heckle About Guacamole Costing Extra

Almost everyone who has eaten at a Chipotle has heard the remark “guacamole is an extra charge, is that ok?” Frequently, the response is a frustrated yes and nothing more. Heckling about guac, on the other hand, is all too prevalent for some folks.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

According to Lampkin, the most typical response to the guac is extra notice is “that’s a little ridiculous, don’t you think?” or “You should definitely change that.”

It doesn’t matter how many snide remarks you make about it, and the person who makes your Chipotle burrito can’t do anything about it. Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s head of communications, told Business Insider that when people ask, they get the answer.

“Because not every restaurant charges extra for guac, some customers may expect us not to either.”

Consider the true cost of guacamole before complaining. Aside from the high cost of avocados, you must also consider the labor costs as well as the costs of all the onions, tomatoes, spices, and other ingredients.

According to a former Chipotle employee on Reddit, “smashing 8 bowls of avocados” in preparation for the rest of the day may be a tough shoulder workout.

Nonetheless, the “guac is extra” refrain has become its own cultural touchstone, complete with t-shirts that read, “I know the guacamole is extra.”

Guacamole isn’t The Only Thing Chipotle Customers Are Rude About

People can find something to complain about at Chipotle, whether it is justified or not. When asked on r/Chipotle, “What was your worst experience with a customer?” staff and past employees shared their horror experiences.

This Is What It's Really Like To Work At Chipotle

According to the many r/Chipotle threads with customer stories, there are a lot of bad customers. Employees talked about customers who came early to pick up an online order and couldn’t wait 10 minutes without yelling at the staff.

One customer couldn’t decide between black beans and pinto beans, so he blocked the exit and called the clerk racist slurs.

Some of the horror stories are almost funny, like the woman who put her purse on the bar near the cashier, took out a scale, and weighed her burrito bowl before asking for more lettuce.

But sometimes the issues have nothing to do with the food. One Chipotle employee wrote on Reddit that a man comes in and yells at them “every time Chipotle’s share price goes down, as if I’m personally responsible for it.”

The Quesarito is a Headache for Chipotle Employees

People will not order anything simply because it is not on the menu. Yes, the world of secret menu hacks exists at Chipotle just as it does elsewhere in the fast food industry. Employees dislike one typical covert order: the quesarito.

For those who are unfamiliar, a quesarito is a standard Taco Bell menu item that consists of a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla.

Work At Chipotle

The orders nevertheless keep rolling in. The biggest complaint is the lengthy preparation time for quesaritos, which leads to significant issues during the lunch and supper surges.

In response to a Reddit query about why employees dislike the order, employees admitted that it’s fine when it’s not busy, but prepare to wait.

Or, as one respondent put it, “it’s literally like rolling hot lava, go to Taco Bell please, they have them too.” Aside from the fact that it’s 1800 calories, there are cheaper ways to kill yourself.”

According to a staffer, the best method to get one is to “order a burrito, order a quesadilla, unfold your quesadilla and burrito at your table and plop em together.” To the best of your ability, rewrap.”

Chipotle Employees Get Free food on work days, And half off Every other day

Some Chipotle devotees will consume a burrito (or taco, or bowl, or quesadilla) at any hour of day or night. A free meal policy makes this easy for employees.

According to the Chipotle benefits page, employees “receive one free meal for every daily shift.” This includes an entrée, a drink, and a side dish.

 Work Chipotle

Employees and former employees have expanded on the policy on Indeed. It turns out that the policy is not as easy as it appears. One individual mentioned that it’s a free dinner if the employee works that day, and 50% off if they don’t.

Furthermore, as one employee noted on Reddit, a manager can restrict anyone who is consistently not finishing their food and throwing items away, and the discount is only valid at the store where you work.

FAQs About Chipotle

What is Chipotle and what do they serve?

Chipotle is a fast-food chain that serves Mexican cuisine, including burritos, bowls, tacos, and salads.

How much does Chipotle pay its employees?

The pay at Chipotle varies depending on the position and location. According to Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a crew member is around $11.

What benefits do Chipotle employees receive?

Chipotle offers benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and a 401(k) plan to eligible employees.

How flexible are Chipotle’s work schedules?

Chipotle offers flexible scheduling to its employees, allowing them to choose the shifts that work best for their personal schedule.

Do Chipotle employees receive discounts on food?

Yes, Chipotle employees receive free or discounted meals while working, as well as discounts on food when they’re not working.

Is there room for advancement at Chipotle?

Chipotle offers opportunities for advancement, with many employees starting as crew members and working their way up to management positions.

What qualities does Chipotle look for in its employees?

Chipotle looks for employees who are friendly, outgoing, and able to work in a fast-paced environment. They also value individuals who are passionate about food and customer service.

What is the hiring process like at Chipotle?

The hiring process at Chipotle typically involves submitting an application online, followed by a phone or in-person interview and a background check.

Does Chipotle offer training to its employees?

Yes, Chipotle provides training to all new employees, including both classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

What are the busiest times to work at Chipotle?

The busiest times at Chipotle tend to be during lunch and dinner rushes, as well as on weekends and holidays.

How does Chipotle ensure food safety?

Chipotle follows strict food safety protocols, including frequent hand washing, temperature checks, and using fresh, high-quality ingredients.

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