Chipotle fans are up in arms after the chain made this terrible change

Jul 10, 2024

Chipotle became popular for letting customers pick the ingredients in their massive burritos.

But the fast-casual chain has been dealing with a customer backlash after losing its way.

And Chipotle fans are up in arms after the chain made this terrible change. 

Chipotle portion sizes have been shrinking 

Chipotle popularized the trend of fast-casual restaurants where customers could create their own orders from high-quality ingredients.

Customers can pay a reasonable price for a massive burrito bursting with fresh ingredients or a bowl piled high with them.

But there’s been a growing discontent with Chipotle over the last several years.

A FinanceBuzz study found that the chain’s prices have increased by 75% since 2014.

“In 2014, hungry customers could get an entree, such as a burrito, bowl, or tacos, for less than $6.75 on average. Those same meals all cost $10.50 or more today. And adding guac costs 64% more now than it did 10 years ago, going from $1.80 to $2.95 on average,” FinanceBuzz reported.

And customers have been complaining about getting smaller portions on their more expensive orders.

Chipotle customers are at the mercy of employees when it comes to getting an adequate scoop of meat, beans, rice, or other toppings.

And online orders always seemed to have smaller portions than ones made in person.

Many customers felt like they were paying more money for less food.

So someone decided to put that theory to the test.

Study conducted over portion sizes at Chipotle 

Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem decided to conduct a test to see how consistent portion sizes are at Chipotle.

Fadem and his team went to eight Chipotles in the New York City area for this test.

They ordered 75 burrito bowls with a standard order of white rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, and lettuce.

Fadem found that Chipotle’s portions varied wildly depending on the location.

The lightest burrito bowl weighed 13.8 oz while the heaviest came in at 26.8 oz.

And the median weight for a digital order was 21.6 oz while the instore weight was 21.4.

The Chipotle location was the biggest variable determining the size of the burrito bowl.

“Consistency varied widely, with some locations serving bowls that weigh approximately 33% more than other locations (on equivalent orders); and the heaviest digital/in-store bowls weighing 87%/47% more versus the lightest,” Fadem’s report stated.

There are at least 58 million videos on TikTok that contain the phrase “Chipotle small portion size.”

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol posted a video on TikTok denying that the chain had cut portion sizes.

But former Chipotle employees commented on his video that portion sizes have shrunk over the years.

Chipotle chief corporate affairs officer Laurie Schalow claimed that any variation in portion sizes was because of differences in orders.

“Similar to others in the fast casual industry, our completely customizable meals may have variability in their size or weight depending upon the number of ingredients a guest selects or if they choose to make an ingredient extra or light when ordering from our list of real ingredients in-person or digitally,” Schalow told Fox Business. “There have been no changes in our portion sizes, and we aim to provide a great guest experience every time.”

But the study conducted by the Wells Fargo analyst would suggest that Chipotle customers could be another victim of shrinkflation. 

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

Latest Posts: