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May 1, 2013

Why Skimp on the Water?

by dougwiggins5

I grew up with a Qdoba near my house, and out of that experience it became my favorite Americanized tex-mex chain. Much to my surprise later on, I found out that this opinion was not shared very often. Chipotle is often the favorite of many people my age, and it shows when you see the constant line at their stores. I finally visited my first Chipotle this year, and despite the wait, it was indeed a superior experience. The slight improvement in the freshness of the food is probably not enough to make me forego the convenience and short line of Qdoba, which I was fine with for years of my life. The biggest difference is the store experience. The place looks fantastic, the staff is friendly, and it is easy to find everything you need. But the one thing that really helped me through my sodium and spice filled meal was the presence of an appropriate water cup. Qdoba gives you the smallest water cup I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if this is because of customer mistrust, or if they really want to save money on water. Ultimately it gives you a rough feeling as you sprint back and forth to the water machine through the course of your meal, which is less of an issue at Chipotle or other fast food restaurants. This slight to the customer experience perhaps best depicts the many subtle reasons why so many other people with better access to Chipotle prefer it to the otherwise similar Qdoba.

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