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February 27, 2013

Wasteful Chipotle

by nomlinz

As a whole, Chipotle has pretty great customer service and, courtesy of Daniel’s recent post, takes advantage of the various customer touch points technology has provided them. However, I was less than satisfied during my most recent trip to the establishment. Trust me when I say that it wasn’t the flavor of my tasty burrito bowl (white rice, black beans, veggies, carnitas, mild, medium, and hot sauce, with lettuce and guacamole – YUM) that let me down, but rather the company’s regulation on incorrectly-made burritos/tacos/salads/bowls.

I was quickly scooted through the line as spoonfuls of good-ness piled onto my oh-so-perfect burrito bowl. My friend, however, got the short end of the stick. She had to patiently wait in line for the steak to be cooked and chopped before it could be scooped onto her burrito. She patiently waited for the steak to be ready as burrito upon burrito passed her by and employee after employee touched her burrito and constantly mistakenly pushed it forward thinking that it was just a plain veggie burrito. As she started seeing the light (the steak was being chopped and scooped into the container), an employee came over and plopped barbacoa onto her burrito after mistaking her burrito for the burrito of the guy right behind her. Now, instead of offering her that incorrectly-made burrito for free and then making her a new one with steak in it, he proceeded to say that he will TRASH that incorrectly-made burrito and then make her a new one. As she was constantly taught the value of food since a young age, she refused to let the employee trash the burrito and just told him to move her burrito along the line and ended up paying the $7.47 for a “customized” meal she wasn’t looking forward to.

Firstly, trashing a perfectly yummy, albeit incorrectly-made, burrito is simply a crime to humanity (especially since food is quickly becoming a scarce resource in this rapidly over-populating world). Secondly, Chipotle seems to have missed an opportunity to introduce a repeat customer to something new she might potentially like and maybe even get her to come more often and/or spend more. And lastly, the company could have gained a lot of “brownie points” from her for giving her a free burrito and making her a new one. What good is it for the company to just throw out perfectly good food? Giving her the free burrito would’ve made for great word-of-mouth buzz for the company, but now, they’re just known as wasteful (especially since a week earlier another friend had this exactly same thing happen to her and Chipotle threw out her burrito bowl and then started anew).

Chipotle, please stop being wasteful. I promise that I will love you even more for it.

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