Former kitchen manager, my good friend was a higher-up. I know a bunch of stuff. Don't care, ask lit'rally anything about Chipotle. Just want to make it a little more clear, I'm no longer employed at Chipotle. I quit about a month ago.

Edit: Alright ya'll, I'm outchea! I'm honestly shocked by how many questions ya'll asked. At this point, I'm pretty sure everything has been said. 'Twas fun, everybody!

I'll do a quick "best of""

  • Get a bowl to go, whether you're staying or going. Get the lid. Shake it. Eat with chips.
  • Instead of ordering tacos, order a bowl with taco shells on the side (they're free), waaaay more food.
  • Just, stay away from lettuce. I know everybody gets it. But I really wouldn't trust the cleanliness of it.
  • If there's a lot of people working, order double meat. The chances of them remembering who had what=slim.
  • Don't order a quesarrito during peak hours.

Anything else is probably in the comments.

Comments: 368 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

2wheeldreamn24 karma

If you were put in charge of the Chipotle menu for a day, what would you change/add/delete?

Also I want to thank Chipotle employees everywhere. My wife and I have been in and out of the hospital frequently recently due to pregnancy complications. There is a Chipotle quite near the hospital and at times that was the only thing she would eat and one of the few things that will make her smile. So again thanks.

Mr_Harvey_Specter20 karma

My personal favorite that I made for myself was peppered lemon chicken. One thing I really wish was on the menu at Chipotle is stuff with garlic! I'd personally get rid of the "fresh tomato salsa", and the sour cream (washing tubs of leftover sour cream with hot water is disgusting).

Also, much appreciated. Chipotle employees always like to see a happy customer.

koppck65 karma

get rid of the sour cream? blasphemy.

Mr_Harvey_Specter9 karma

Seriously, go mix sour cream with steaming hot water and take a whiff. It's straight up gross.

tylonrobinson18 karma

  1. How do you make that delicious barbacoa?!
  2. Is it really an insult to ask to have your burrito mixed before it's rolled up?
  3. If you get take out a lot, is it a big deal to take a bottle of the chipotle Tabasco sauce if you have run out of the last one you took home?

Mr_Harvey_Specter43 karma

  • Truthfully the barbacoa isn't marinated or anything in-house. Nor are the carnitas. Everything else is, however. The barbacoa comes in these plastic bags that they stick in this thing called a rethermalizer (much like at taco bell) which is just a big thing of hot water, for 45 minutes. They open the bag and pull apart those strings of barbacoa into a pan and put it on the line.
  • It's not, people might be annoyed by it if there's a crowd. I always preferred my burritos that way. Usually I get a bowl, close it, and shake it up. The CEO is kind of an OCD weirdo that has to have things a certain way, which is why everything is usually separated.
  • Take all the Tabasco sauce you want. Chipotle gets them for like 3 cents a bottle and they receive huge pallets of the stuff twice a week. Of course, try to be at least kind of slick about it.

Latitude6618 karma

What happened to your corn? did you change vendors from last year or something because it seems like its pale in color without much flavor from the ones i used to have. They were bright yellow & had a sweetness to it.

Mr_Harvey_Specter15 karma

Could be a seasonal thing, not really sure though.

Zenmaster415 karma

I remember the burritos being so much larger when I was younger -- the new ones are still big but I always feel somewhat bitter when I see the servant take a single scoop of chicken with their tiny spoon and when I ask for more, look at me with a straight face and say "that'll be $2.00" extra -- on top of an $8 burrito (I live in NYC). Are you instructed to be conservative with your servings to customers? Any tricks so I can get some more chicken underneath the table?

Mr_Harvey_Specter16 karma

Go during peak hours. There'll be a bunch of people working, the likelihood of "this guy got extra meat" reaching the register is next to none. Keep quiet about it and it's the perfect crime. Otherwise, pile on other ingredients. The meat thing is definitely a bummer. Not much anybody can do about it though, they serve how they're instructed to serve.

Operatics10 karma

As a 10 year chipotle-eater (five of those now lived in NYC), I feel your pain. 9 dollar steak burritos are killing me, man. Here's the way to get the most bang for your buck:

No. 1 (and this one is hard for some of us burrito purists) DON'T GET A BURRITO! Get a burrito bowl, because the person making it won't be worried about the tortilla falling apart at the folding phase, and therefore is more likely to be liberal with their scoops.

No. 2 ASK FOR BOTH TYPES OF BEANS, and HALF-STEAK/HALF-CHICKEN (or any dual combination of meats.) This is FREE! When someone puts in half-steak/half-chicken, the ratio is never really 50/50, and you will usually end up with more meat than if you had only gotten one. You can even add the peppers if you'd like.

No. 3 GET ALL THE TOPPINGS. You can get an awesomely huge burrito bowl for the same price as a much smaller burrito. Buy a bag of chips (for very low cost) or ask for an extra tortilla at the end of the line. They should give you one for free!

Enjoy, my fellow Chipotle fiend. You are beautiful.

Mr_Harvey_Specter12 karma

Pro-tip: ask for a tortilla on the side with a burrito bowl, it's free!

Pahwoon9 karma

Can you explain how Chipotle tastes to someone who's never had it and most likely won't for a long time? ( Not in a country where this is available )

Mr_Harvey_Specter18 karma

It's pretty much the most satisfying, in my opinion, meal you can get for $7-9. You pretty much put the ingredients of your choice together in either burrito, bowl, salad, or taco form. The ingredients aren't mixed together, which I find annoying personally, so each bite introduces a different set of flavors. It is what you make of it, in a way.

filifunk8 karma

I read that chipotle managers make about 100k a that true?

Mr_Harvey_Specter8 karma

Sort of true. There are a lot of different types of managers. Kitchen managers, service managers, apprentice, GM, Restauranteur. Apprentice and up are salaried, others are hourly. It might say the Apprentice makes something like 60k, GM 80k, Restauranteur 100k. But honestly they include all these arbitrary figures in those numbers, certain types of insurance coverage that nobody really cares about, they'll pay for certain classes that you're required, by Chipotle, to take. All of that gets factored in, the reality is a GM may be advertised as an $80k position, but really they make about $35k a year in take-home funds.

dansucks7 karma

Why did they stop giving you a free drink with a student ID? After that happened my Chipotle visits decreased...

Mr_Harvey_Specter8 karma

Could just be your store that does that, my store never offered anything like that.

filifunk6 karma

How is the chicken made, i.e. what's in the seasoning for the chicken? I love it!

Mr_Harvey_Specter23 karma

We marinate it in Adobo, soy oil, and honey. The Adobo is made of Chipotle peppers and salt, mostly. Usually left overnight.

tchaiks6 karma

I love Chipotle but it really fucks with my stomach. Is there a specific ingredient that typically does this? I know I am not alone in this.

Mr_Harvey_Specter3 karma

Do you eat the barbacoa? It always messed with my stomach as well.

dissident525 karma

Will breakfast burritos ever happen?

Mr_Harvey_Specter3 karma

Highly unlikely

MajorMuffinCakes5 karma

$1.80 for guacamole. WTF is that about??

Mr_Harvey_Specter20 karma

Honestly I don't even work there anymore, nor do I particularly care for the company. But I don't think they charge enough for guac. It's made fresh every day, and it takes WORK to make it. Cutting avocados in half, pitting them, scooping out all the meat, dicing the onions, dicing the jalapenos, mashing it (total workout), packaging it for the line, etc x8.

Think about it like this, an organic avocado at Whole foods costs $2. Chipotle charges $1.80 for 2 avocados worth of guac, labor, and all the other ingredients.

r_antrobus5 karma

Any crazy stories?

Mr_Harvey_Specter21 karma

Not so much. One time the CEO, Steve Ells, came into our store and ordered a burrito. Nothing super interesting though.

ocnarfsemaj5 karma

Can I buy generic adobo sauce with soy oil and honey and grill it and it will taste like Chipotle? :(

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

it's quite possible indeed

skaterfan934 karma

Do you enjoy eating there? If so, what's your go-to item?

Mr_Harvey_Specter15 karma

Never got tired of it. I'd get a Chicken burrito bowl with brown rice, double meat, medium salsa, cheese, corn, and guac. I'd get the lid with it, shake the crap out of it, and dip my chips into it.

LockeOut3 karma

How much extra is double meat? I have never seen it on a menu.

Mr_Harvey_Specter8 karma

$1.80, technically it's not a thing that Chipotle even offers. The burritos are meant to be a certain size/shape/blah/blah. The restaurants charge extra just to make up for how much it actually costs per scoop of extra meat.

billbaggins4 karma

Have you ever gotten to meet Moe?

What about that John Coctostan fellow?

Mr_Harvey_Specter1 karma

Had to google that. Moe's is kinda lamesauce though.

puredemo4 karma

What interesting stuff did your high-up friend tell you?

Mr_Harvey_Specter14 karma

Nothing really interesting in the "secret" sense of the word, more so in the "oh, that's how you do that" sense. The most valuable piece of information I can give you, complain on the internet. Don't complain about the employees' attitude or something, unless they actually were rude. But maybe the quality of your meat, or the ready-ness of the tortilla. Basically, as soon as you indicate something went wrong during your Chipotle experience, they send you hella free burrito coupons. Or say it's your first time at Chipotle (even better if you're with a group), if a manager is at the register, once again, hella free burritos.

robreddity3 karma

Am I a bad person for intentionally pronouncing it chi PAH tul?

I'm never going to stop either.

Mr_Harvey_Specter43 karma

Nope, I made a point to never say it properly to customers either...just to screw with them a bit. I'd usually go with chi-pol-tea. But, man, you should have seen this one guy. He walked in and I said "Good evening, welcome to Qdoba!" He was so confused it was hysterical.

treasureFINGERS3 karma

All i can say is how my ex gf has had a horrible experience working at one in Chicago.

She recently put her two weeks in and after hearing all the fucked up stories about that one particular store i wonder how the city hasn't shut them down...

I know this doesn't represent most Chipotles' but it varies store to store.

All i can say is fuck this particular chipotle in Chicago.

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

Oh wow, yeah I don't doubt it. Honestly, wouldn't be surprised if it was the store I worked at (I live in Chicago). Some stuff went down with new leadership and a bunch of people, myself included, left.

I'd hope it's not a representation of the company as a whole, but who knows.

bar26921 karma

I live in chicago too. Which chipotle?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma


TehCuddler1 karma

As a Chicago Redditor and Chipotle eater, I suppose it might be rare that I live near two decent Chipotles.

One I especially enjoy going to because the manager recognizes me and he and his staff give great service. I guess you don't hear enough compliments to outweigh the negatives.

Mr_Harvey_Specter1 karma

Which one do you go to? I used to work at Ashland, and also the one in LP. We used to get plenty of compliments, it all sort of balances out.

dcpDarkMatter3 karma

What's in the guac? Avocados, red onions, and cilantro are obvious, but what else goes in it?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

For fear of being sued, I can't tell you. But honestly it's not really anything else. Common sense should be able to fill in the last two gaps in the puzzle.

dcpDarkMatter1 karma

No worries. Saw the ingredients to the stuff that the chicken is so decided to give it a shot.

Mr_Harvey_Specter25 karma

Yeah they take their guac pretty seriously, it's almost comical. But actually, salt and lemon juice. COME AT ME CORPORATE.

dcpDarkMatter2 karma

Fight the power! /r/firstworldanarchists

That being said, I can never seem to get the consistency quite right. Always too smooth or too chunky.

Mr_Harvey_Specter3 karma

It's all about how you mash it. But also play with the measurements. Mainly it's the lime juice, try less. if it feels way too chunky you can always add but never subtract.

WinonaForever3 karma

What's the worst burrito you've ever made/seen someone make?

My friend's standard order used to be chicken burrito, white rice, cheese. Almost no flavor and completely dry. Gross and a waste of $7.

Mr_Harvey_Specter19 karma

Worst in terms of what the customer ordered or execution from the employee standpoint?

Customer: this one dude just ordered a tortilla full of beans and fajitas once. I nearly gagged.

Employee: On a hot day, I saw my co-worker straight up sweat into a cop's burrito. Cop didn't notice, he just wrapped it and gave it to him.

Also, get some salsa in that bitch to avoid dry-ness!

brickfrenzy3 karma

I sometimes wonder whether or not tattoos and plugs are mandatory for Chipotle employees. Outside of a hipster coffee bar, I see the highest concentration of body modifications behind the counter at Chipotle. Is it just a coincidence or do some restaurants seem to go out of their way to hire more body modification afficionados?

Mr_Harvey_Specter3 karma

Could be, they look for 13 characteristics in a newhire. Someone with a bunch of tattoos is probably noticeably more something.

Shinyteeth2 karma

What's the secret to the yummy cilantro white rice? What's in the corn salsa?

Mr_Harvey_Specter8 karma

No real secret. It's just steamed in a rice cooker, they add cilantro and one lime. The white rice is terrible for you from a nutritional standpoint, surprisingly.

nmerrill1 karma

Curious as to what makes it terrible for you? I see that a serving is 130 calories(30 from fat, and 100 from carbs). One of my standard post-workout meals is a bowl with brown rice/black beans/double chicken/all the hot sauce. Plenty of protein and carbs, not a ton of fats(save those for rest day).

Mr_Harvey_Specter4 karma

Brown rice is fine, it's the white that isn't good for you. There's no grain, thus no nutrients. Just carbohydrates.

nmerrill3 karma

There's no grain, thus no nutrients. Just carbohydrates.


I understand the recent mentality of "carbs are the enemy/paleo/keto lifestyle", but that really isn't the case. They are a pretty essential nutrient, especially for someone with an active lifestyle.

Mr_Harvey_Specter5 karma

There are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. The good, essential carbs, come from whole grains, vegetables, beans, etc. Bad carbohydrates come from stuff like starch, which white rice is literally drenched after the grain is removed from it.

jeff035972 karma

What is the most disgusting thing that people order?

Mr_Harvey_Specter13 karma

Lettuce. Seriously.

Washing the lettuce takes forever, and those in the back are on super strict time tables. Sometimes, read: 95% of the time, they don't wash it thoroughly. Not only is it dirty and grimey as all hell, but we used to find bugs in it all the time. Both alive and dead. Just. Don't get the lettuce.

dansucks10 karma

As one who always adds lettuce....this makes me uncomfortable...

Mr_Harvey_Specter7 karma

Most everyone adds lettuce. It's pretty awful, I could never say anything.

DCCHvids2 karma

Why won't you let me have a quesorito?

Mr_Harvey_Specter7 karma

I know they won't ever admit to knowing what that is during peak hour. Once you make one, everybody in line sees it and wants one as well. They take for-goddamn-ever to make 'cause there's only one quesadilla-maker-thing, it slows everything waay down.

DCCHvids1 karma

Ohh I see. Although if it were a menu item I would totally pay extra for it

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

They charge you extra if they wind up making it, it comes out to about $14

aloknessmonster2 karma

just wondering, do you guys hate it when we ask for quesadilla style? since you burn your fingers and all?

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

By "quesadilla style" do you just mean a quesadilla or are you referring to the legendary "quesarrito"? If it's the former, not really. Usually newbies get kinda frustrated because they don't have their kitchen hands yet and that stuff's hot/they're overwhelmed and have to go to the other side of the counter. But they gotta learn sometime, right? And ultimately, it's both their job and a menu item.

Narcicar3 karma

Is the quesarrito" really a thing? I read about it on TIL. When I went to Chipotle and ordered it the girl got confused and told me I could either have a quesadilla or a burrito.

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

Sort of. It's not an official item or even something acknowledged by Chipotle. It's more so asking an employee, "Hey, can you put that thing and that thing into one thing?". Often times an employee just won't know what you mean, sometimes they won't think they're allowed to do something like that. Just ask to speak to a manager, make sure they know what you're talking about, and they'll make you one.

blitzbom1 karma

I've never heard of this mythical quesarrito. Am I asking for a quesadilla in a burrito?

Mr_Harvey_Specter5 karma

It's quesadilla with all the fillings of a burrito, wrapped like a burrito

BagOfAids2 karma


Mr_Harvey_Specter14 karma

They don't believe in that kind of stuff. They like the whole, human interaction/memory thing. If the person that works reg at your Chipotle is at all competent, they'll remember you, and they're instructed to give regulars free meals every now and again.

KegsNKrill2 karma

Why are my burritos cold half the time? It's really frustrating. The product is really close to being great but having a cold ingredient (or a tear in the tortilla) can fuck the whole thing up.

Side note, I found a Chipotle workers hat on the street, how much can I get for it?

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

If you notice a tear in the tortilla, ask them to do it again. I never liked getting cold ingredients on a burrito either, just don't do it. Pro-tip: ask them to put your burrito into the tortilla press after they roll it. It'll make everything warm and the tortilla will get crispy.

Probably nothing, but if you wear it to certain stores, they might give you a discount.

pand4duck2 karma

Do you have a favorite regular customer?

What's the most you've seen someone eat in one sitting?

How does chipotle support local farms and markets?

Mr_Harvey_Specter14 karma

My favorite customer was this homeless dude that would come in about twice a week. He'd just order a baby bag of chips and sit quietly in the corner for a little bit, as he would leave he'd pick up any trash other customers left behind and he'd throw it away, he'd push in chairs, make everything look neat. He was awesome.

I've never seen someone eat more than two burritos in one sitting. Even two was super rare.

Chipotle does their best with "Food with Integrity", they mostly buy their meat and stuff from free-range farms that don't use growth hormones and etc. It's my understanding that they buy whatever vegetables are in season from local distributors. With the exception of Avocados.

WinonaForever8 karma

I once ate two and a half burritos in a sitting. Never again. EVER.

Mr_Harvey_Specter5 karma

You're a trooper, yo.

pand4duck1 karma

A similar question, is chipotle in the process of creating new things to be released/launched? Or are they pretty content with the menu

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

The menu has pretty much been the same since the first Chipotle opened. The CEO is pretty set in his ways, "if it ain't broke, why fix it". Although they did just introduce tofu at various Chipotles. I wouldn't count on much else, though.

ocnarfsemaj2 karma


Mr_Harvey_Specter1 karma

You must go to a crazy upscale Chipotle, cause there's no way in hell 99% of them use Patron.

ocnarfsemaj2 karma

I've been to three, and they all use Patron. Yorktown, VA. Charlottesville, VA. Newport News, VA.

Mr_Harvey_Specter1 karma

Dang, you're a lucky one. At the store I worked at we got garbage in tequila form.

BlindCatStudios2 karma

I have been wondering this forever. Please answer me! TELL ME HOW TO MAKE THE RED TOMATILLO SALSA!

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

It's just pico de gallo. Tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos.

Yogababe1 karma

If you get a vegetarian burrito is the guac free or are my chipotle guys just really nice?

Mr_Harvey_Specter3 karma

'tis indeed free

HotThruTheShart1 karma

what would be the best way to convince them to use a different/better tequila in their margaritas?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

Just complain about it online.

carcomimrates1 karma

I've always wondered this but i've been too afraid to ask. If i get extra stuff in my burrito does it cost more, or is it like a "put anything you want inside" sorta deal?

Mr_Harvey_Specter6 karma

It's kind of a weird system and they change it every now and then. Basically, the only things they'll charge you extra for are guac and meat. Everything else, they might be hesitant to pile it on because they're running low or something, but they won't charge you. That includes tortillas (one is free, if you get a bowl or something and want it on the side or if you get a burrito and want an extra one), taco shells are free (get a burrito bowl and three taco shells on the side rather than getting tacos. Same price, waaaay more food).

Just keep pressuring them. They have to give you more if you ask for more. If they don't give you enough, complain over the internet and your "free burrito" coupon will arrive shortly.

phus1 karma

There are 3 chipotles in my area that I hit randomly depending on where I am in town. and every single one I some times get really good brown rice and sometimes its barely cooked ever since they introduced it.

I'm assuming people are cooking it wrong, cooking it for white rice times instead of brown rice. Is there any effort from corporate to be more consistent? Or should I complain more often?

Mr_Harvey_Specter3 karma

Absolutely, complain! It's easy to tell when white rice is done, it gets moist and sticky and whatnot. Brown rice just kinda stays the same before & after it's been cooked, kinda hard to tell unless you taste it. Which, the employees should always taste their food before serving. But yes, definitely complain about it.

Georgy_K_Zhukov1 karma

Does Chipotle have a secret menu? What should I be ordering?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

Nope, no secret menu, contrary to popular belief.

kash041 karma

How do you make the rice?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

Steam it, add cilantro and lime.

HSChronic1 karma

Do you guys like or dislike people that put in online/fax orders? I find this is easier than standing in line being like ummm, uhhhh, hmmm and I get everything the way I want.

Mr_Harvey_Specter1 karma

They're fine with it, during peak hours it can be kind of a mess though. And sometimes people put up large orders through fax and still expect it to be ready in 10 minutes.

kvance1 karma

What's in the hot salsa? Or can we buy it from anywhere?

Mr_Harvey_Specter1 karma

I don't think you can buy it. As far as I can recall, it's some sort of chile pepper, garlic, sesame seeds, oregano, and salt.

bumblebridge1 karma

What food do you actually prepare in-house and what is completely bought in/just heated up from being frozen?

Mr_Harvey_Specter10 karma

The guac is made fresh every day. Onions and jalapenos are washed and diced every morning, Steak and Chicken are marinated every day. Lettuce is washed/cut in two different ways, then dried. Cheese is blocked and shredded in house, salsas are mixed together, but the tomatoes are not fresh nor are they diced in store. Which is why I hate that they call it "fresh tomato salsa", it's actually one of the least fresh things they make.

Dontleave1 karma

What sets chipotle aside from Moe's or Qdoba? I know Moe gives you free chips with every order.

Mr_Harvey_Specter10 karma

Qdoba is more of an all around sort of place, they serve more than just burritos/tacos/quesadillas. Otherwise, not much really. Kinda like the difference between McDonalds/Wendy's/BK. Although the quality of the food at Chipotle is much, much better than Qdoba/Moe's/Baja Fresh.

manskies1 karma

Do you have fish tacos? And if you do, can I order that in burrito form?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

Unfortunately, no.

snapple21 karma

Why is guacamole so expensive?

Mr_Harvey_Specter2 karma

It's not. One organic avocado costs $2. Chipotle charges $1.80 for the avocado + all the other ingredients + labor.