Go Read This Story About Online Orders Burning Chipotle Workers


Chipotle is a pioneer in the fast assembly line restaurant format, where you line up and guide a human worker through the process of preparing your meal as you watch. It’s a foolproof system, at least I thought so before verified this investigative story by MarketWatch revealing how Chipotle is handling the growth of online orders in a pandemic world. Once I read the testimonials of various Chipotle employees interviewed in the MarketWatch article, I was amazed at what they were actually going through.

One employee detailed the fight against the onslaught of online orders:

“People were just looking at us, angry,” he said. “Orders were coming in faster than they could be placed. We frequently saw orders of 75, 80, 90 items within 15 minutes.

The idea that a complete robotic control system exhausted by options could fit into an established actual arrangement has proven to be very wrong, according to the article. Chipotle workers’ anecdotes describe how the company handles these complex online orders in your physical absence. For example, what they do with your online order when they run out of steak or beans (which apparently happens quite often) is a real dilemma with a not-so-satisfactory official procedure:

“We’re told if we don’t have steak, give them chicken.” This kind of substitution made some customers angry, and he said in his store “managers will step in to make sure workers don’t get yelled at.”

This article not only describes what it’s like to work on the front lines at Chipotle, but includes deaf company statements, union-sponsored walkouts (Chipotle is not yet unionized), and even business statistics on burritos. Go read this excellent article it shows what your burrito really costs. As for me, I think twice before having Chipotle employees read my unnecessarily complicated online order of half brown rice and half white rice with extra romaine lettuce.

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