Chipotle is a chain we all know and love, even as a Mexican woman who should know better, I can't escape its delicious cilantro-lime rice or enticing chips and salsa. I love Chipotle so much that I used to work there and sometimes wonder why I ever left — I mean, free Chipotle every time you work?! But, no matter how great it was to work there, there were a few routine questions and comments that just started to get to me — and my colleagues — after a while.
1. Can you mix my bowl for me?
Here's the thing: I can totally understand not wanting to eat a burrito and get an entire glob of sour cream in one bite, or a mouthful of just salsa, which is why I will gladly mix up your burrito for you before I wrap it up. But a bowl? Unless you broke your arm or you have an actual reason why you can't take a fork and mix up the contents of your bowl yourself, please be a grown up and DIY.
2. Why don't you have queso?
This question in itself is not that annoying, but the indignant way that people tend to ask it — as if we lowly employees are deliberately trying to sabotage your day by hiding away the queso — is. I agree with you: Queso would be amazing. But unfortunately, we don't have it — I promise it's not on "the secret menu" either.
3. Can you make me a quesarito?
The food service industry is all about customer satisfaction, so employees will do everything they can to ensure you get what you want. But asking for a quesarito is about the worst thing you can do at Chipotle.
First, customers don't realize that to you're basically having to make two meals in one (since it calls for using a quesadilla to wrap a burrito). That's totally fine, but please be patient with us — it takes a while to make both fresh for you.
Second, because the quesadilla has to sit in the tortilla press for a while in order to get the cheese all melty, it will slow down everyone else's orders (meaning a line of hangry people behind you).
Finally, have you ever tried to wrap a fresh-out-of the press quesadilla around a burrito before? No? Well let me tell you, it SUCKS. Not only is the quesadilla burning your burrito-roller's hands, because again, it just came out of hot foil, it's also incredibly hard to wrap a now-crisped tortilla around a giant burrito without making a mess or having the tortilla fall apart.
So, if you can avoid it, please don't order a quesarito. If not for us, then for your body's sake. Can you only imagine how many calories must be in that thing?!
4. Has anyone died from eating here?
I get it: With all of the health issues that have been plaguing Chipotle in the last few years, you're a little worried. But asking the person making your food is kind of uncool — it makes us really uncomfortable — plus if someone had died, you probably would have already heard about it. Besides, Chipotle has really stepped up their game as far as food safety (hence why you have to ask for lemons for your water at the register now) so you can rest easy.
5. Can I get my rice without cilantro?
We can make you rice without cilantro, but it'll take a while to prepare. Also, it's worth noting your one serving of rice means we'll likely have to throw out most of the batch since we can't just keep it around until the next person who doesn't like cilantro orders (remember your concerns about food safety?).
I have to wonder, though: Are you even going to taste the cilantro with all the other things you're loading into your bowl?
6. Can I get yellow cheese?
Why you would want yellow cheese on your Chipotle is beyond me (like, are we talking sharp cheddar or American? Either seems gross, but I'm curious). Regardless, if you look down at the line, you will literally see all of our ingredients, and unfortunately, yellow cheese isn't one of them, so why people still ask for it is baffling.
7. Why is guac extra?
I don't know, why aren't cars free? Oh, that's right, because capitalism. There's nothing that's more annoying to a Chipotle employee than when a customer questions the cost of guac for two reasons: (1) It clearly costs money because avocados are expensive, and (2) We don't control whether or not an ingredient costs more. Sorry.
On that note, as annoying as it is that employees remind you guac is extra every time, some customers don't know that, which is why we always tell you. Please don't make it worse by stopping me with a snarky "I know guac is extra." Just let me do my thing.
8. Do you have to charge me for extra meat?
Going back to the capitalism argument that we introduced when talking about guac, I do have to charge you for extra meat. Unfortunately, meat, cheese, and avocados are the three most expensive ingredients that Chipotle offers, so while we still let you get all the cheese you want at no charge, double meat and guac come at a cost.
9. Can I get everything? Oh wait, not that.
Here's the thing, when you come up to the salsa line and say you want everything, I'm gonna give you all the salsas. Unfortunately, I'm not a mind reader so when you say "everything" but you actually mean "everything but the corn and sour cream," you're gonna get corn and sour cream. Like with any other relationship, the relationship between you and your line server is only going to work through good, honest communication.
10. Can I get the mild hot salsa?
OK, this can definitely just be a brain fart whenever you're ordering, but let's be clear: There are three salsa choices, mild (the pico or, as some customers call it, "fresh salsa"), medium (the green one) and hot (the red non-chunky one). If you asked for hot but meant mild, you're gonna have a bad time.
11. Can I get lettuce? No, not that type of lettuce.
At Chipotle there are two types of lettuce: salad lettuce and taco lettuce. They're really the same type of lettuce. The only difference is one is sliced in chunks to provide a salad base, and the other is sliced thinly to fit into tacos and bowls. The placement is also intentional — the salad lettuce is at the beginning of the line, so you can start your salad with it. The taco lettuce is at the end, so it can be the last item we fit onto your taco ('cause let's be real, no one cares if the lettuce falls off the taco).
So, when your bowl gets to the end of the line and you decide you want salad lettuce — or when you're getting a salad but for some reason the chunkier lettuce doesn't suit your fancy — that means you're breaking the sacred flow of the line. Not only does that annoy the employees, it also annoys other customers whose orders get interrupted, and then they take it out on us employees. So please, stick to your preordained lettuce — it's all the same anyway.
12. Can I get double of everything in my burrito?
No, no, no, nononononononooooo. That's exactly what your server is saying internally as he or she plops double of every item into your tortilla. The thing is, serving sizes exist for a reason. Aside from ensuring consistency and maximum profit for The Man, they're also used so every employee can fill a burrito just enough so that it won't fall apart as soon as you pick it up. When you double everything in your burrito, not only does it make it nearly impossible to wrap (and add way too many calories), it also is a way to ensure that you're going to have the middle of your burrito fall out at some point. If you want double everything, save yourself the trouble and order a bowl with a tortilla on the side instead.