Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Feb 27, 2014 02:33 PM


OMG! I had my first Chipotle today -- a barbacoa burrito. Four bites (I thought I needed to give it a fair chance) and it was in the trash!

How have they stayed in business?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Because 99% of people really enjoy their food, which is a big step up from most other fast-food chains in terms of quality, sustainability, and flavor. I'd suggest that if your food was so bad that it was literally inedible, you should talk to a manager at the store.

    20 Replies
    1. re: Boston_Otter

      Hooray for people who like it but I take it they don't have any idea what good Mexican food is...

      1. re: rainey

        There's "Mexican food", and then there's Chipotle. I wouldn't think of Chipotle as authentic Mexican food. If anything, it's Southwestern-inspired. If I want good Mexican food, I'll go to the Oaxacan restaurant down the street; if I want a big wrap with carnitas pork in it, I'll go to Chipotle (or the taqueria a few doors down).

        1. re: rainey

          How is Chipotle Mexican? Isn't it an American chain?

          1. re: rainey

            That's your mistake right there. You went in thinking it was going to be like authentic mexican food. It's not, nor is it trying to be. It's fast casual food with mexican "flavors". Nowhere do they claim to be authentic mexican.

            And, for the record, I grew up in the central valley of CA. I know good Mexican. And I love Chipotle.

          2. re: Boston_Otter

            Chipotle is not very healthy. It's fast food wrapped up in a pretty package. I love it, don't get me wrong, but I don't fool myself into believing it's healthy.

            1. re: BostonLover

              Chipotle can be done healthily. Lettuce, chicken, fajita veg, and the salsas of your choice. If you don't have a fat phobia you can add guac for healthy fat.

              1. re: BostonLover

                Depends what you order. I order a bowl and it comes in under 500 calories with a ton of protein.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  Ton of protein? You have to pay extra for adequate protein if you don't want to fill up on rice, beans and chips.

                  My husband tried it for work lunches. Said it's all a pile of starch with a smidge of protein. Unless you pay more than it's worth to avoid a rice/bean/chips bomb.. That's how I recall my one trip there.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Unless Chipotle has changed the way they serve people food, this isn't true at all. If you don't want a huge pile of rice, you can say "no rice" or "just a little rice". I get so much meat in my burrito that it's more than I can finish. I don't understand all these people who claim they're getting a tiny piece of meat in their wrap.

                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                      It seems to be location and employee dependent. There's one employee at my local store who knows that I come in once every few months and all I care about is meat and beans and she loads it up. Other employees I end up with 3 mouthfuls of meat.

                      1. re: Boston_Otter

                        It's not food worth the price of making it adequate, in our estimation.

                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                          I always order 'all meat' burritos; no rice/beans. At Chipotle, the guy made my burrito according to their std. proportions and it came out looking more like a quesadilla than a burrito. He said he didn't feel right about charging me full price for something like that so he just gave it to me. Cheap filler with as little meat as possible is how they make money.

                        2. re: mcf

                          Yes, getting enough meat for someone like me costs me a fortune.

                          1. re: mcf

                            Adequate for what you're looking to eat,

                            As compared to the recommended daily intake of protein (which for an average person is about 50 grams per day) a chipotle chicken burrito/bowl with black beans has about 40 grams of protein...30+ of that from the's a ton of protein for one meal.

                            1. re: ccbweb

                              50 grams of protein per day is too low, way too low, especially if it's not all animal protein. All the RDAs on fat, protein and carbs are criminally bad, bought by lobbyist paid credentialed folks.

                            2. re: mcf

                              My meal I get at Chipotle has 43 grams of protein and is 490 calories based on the meal builder on their website. Considering my protein goal per day is 100 grams, 43 is pretty good for one meal. I get a bowl of brown rice, steak, hot salsa, and cheese. I don't ask or pay for anything extra. Also, depending on location, they charge me about $5 for it since I get so few ingredients.

                              If I think they're skimping me on the meat (which is maybe 10% of the time and as already mentioned, employee depending, noticed it's usually the newer employees when it's not busy), I ask for a bit extra and don't get charged for it. You only get charged if you ask for double meat.

                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Exactly. Lots of folks don't eat bowls of rice, choosing salad or veggies instead. So double meat. That's what I've been saying.

                                I never said they shorted the meat, only that you're not getting "tons" or "piles" of it.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  So if you don't eat rice or need 8oz of meat to feel full, don't go to Chipotle...simple as that. Who says everyone has to like it? There's lots of places I don't care to eat at, so I just don't go there. I don't go online and yuck people's yum.

                                  I credit Chipotle with helping me lose 50lbs. It was my go-to fast food place when I couldn't make it home to cook a meal, and is a way better alternative than the fast food that's available in many parts of the country.

                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                    Hello? See the subject header and post up there by the OP?

                          2. re: BostonLover

                            I know someone on WW's and say it's 6 points to get a burrito bowl with brown rice (on the side and only eat half), then add lettuce, corn, beans, chix, tomato (salsa), and corn. Then she asks for extra cilantro and they give you a container of it on the side.

                            It's pretty good too.


                        3. I think there are a few other threads on this topic with interesting discussion of the likes and dislikes.


                          With that being said, Boston_Otter has a point. Most people I know love the place.

                          1. Is there something in particular you didn't like?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              It was just different kinds of glop rolled together. Nothing had any flavor to speak of. Yuck!

                              A burrito can be a wonderful thing but the elements have to have flavor and texture of their own before they can create a thing worth having.

                            2. Marketing. I've watched people order food there and I wonder how they justify spending that much for so little food. It's mostly rice and beans and a some vegetation. There is so little meat going into the burrito it's ridiculous. I just go there for a little snack. I get a small cheese quesadilla for $1.25 and I'm done. If I want to eat a meal, I go where they put some food on the plate.

                              I know others love Chipotle. I'm not one of them.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                You can order extra of everything (rice, beans, fajitas, salsas, etc.) but the meat and they won't charge you. I've known people who could make 2-3 meals out of one well packed bowl/burrito.

                                1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                  EXACTLY! It's mostly cheap filler with a bit of meat.

                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                    If you're only getting "a bit of meat" at Chipotle, they're not making your food correctly, and you should complain.

                                    A friend of mine gets his burrito without rice, and it's a huge pile of meat and guac wrapped in a tortilla -- two meals' worth. No 'cheap filler'.

                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                      4 oz. of meat, is not a "huge pile" for non starch filled meals.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          As others have said, it sounds employee/location dependent. I've never only gotten 4 oz. of meat at any location -- more like a big scoop that fills a tortilla. It's a shame that you're literally getting a few tablespoons of protein but I don't think that's normal.

                                          1. re: Boston_Otter

                                            It is so normal that Chipotle lists it as their nutrition data. 4 oz. I don't just make this shit up. It's the same for the salad as the burrito:

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              I didn't suggest you were "making shit up". I'm saying that I've never seen anyone served that little meat at any location, and I feel sorry for people who are getting short-changed.

                                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                I agree with you Boston_Otter, but will say that each location is different. I've had bad experiences at Chipotle where they are not accommodating in the least, and others where they have bent over backwards to please.
                                                The food taste is not consistent either. They cook/grill in house, so whoever is doing the cooking does influence the flavor.
                                                There is one location in particular that I will never step foot in again and one that I frequent.

                                  2. I've only had a few bites of a Chipotle burrito once, years ago, and felt it was really bland as well.

                                    However, it was at a catered event at work, and there were a slew of dietary restrictions involved, so I figured I must be missing something that everyone is raving about. In fact, I'm sure of it.

                                    All that being said, agree with Botson Otter. Here in L.A., 99% of people who try it love it, and I'm all for the healthier fast food option (not to mention the whole concept behind the business, the sustainability, employee training, etc.). It's really almost inspiring.