Here's Why Chipotle Employees Don't Like Dealing With Marinade

Chipotle was founded in 1993 but grew exponentially in the early 2000s. According to Bloomberg, in 2000, the fast-casual eatery had under 50 locations. By 2005, there were more than 500 Chipotle outposts. The restaurant's concept is simple; with a limited number of menu items, customers can customize their order to a perfect fit for their tastebuds. You might think that a limited number of menu items would make things pretty straightforward for Chipotle crew members, but that's apparently not the case. Chipotle crew members deal with many annoyances and issues during each one of their shifts. Over the years, crew members have taken to the internet to discuss staff shortages, missing key ingredients, and angry customers. While most of those issues are likely relatable to anyone who's ever worked a food service job, one annoying aspect of the job seems pretty specific to Chipotle. The chain's signature marinades are particularly problematic for those working on the line.

How much cooking do Chipotle crew members actually do?

Chipotle crew members are responsible for preparing ingredients, keeping the grill running, and helping customers get exactly what they want from their meals. According to several Reddit users who claim to have worked at the famed Mexican grill, there might be a ton of food prep that goes into each shift at the eatery, but there isn't a lot of full-blown cooking needs to be done. In a thread from 2020, a crew member revealed that most meats are pre-marinated and cooked sous vide style before arriving at individual locations. Chipotle crew members are responsible for bringing most of the meat to temperature and constructing burritos and bowls. There are a couple of notable exceptions, though. All chicken that enters Chipotle outposts is raw, and crew members are tasked with cooking it. The chicken that arrives is already in its marinade, though. According to the crew member, steak has to be marinated on-site, which can lead to a few issues.

The reason Chiptole crew members hate dealing with marinades

Chipotle crew members get most of the meat they are working with already prepared, but there is still some marinating to be done on-site. A Chipotle crew member confessed that marinating can be one major nuisance of the job. Speaking to Mental Floss, Nate, an employee at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Maryland, admitted that the marinades can be irritating, especially the spicier offerings. Nate told the publication that cleaning up steak marinade often releases capsaicin into the air, irritating the nose and throat.

Capsaicin is the component of peppers responsible for the burning sensation often associated with spicy food. Capsaicin is measured on the Scoville scale. Bell peppers have zero Scoville units and are the least spicy pepper available. The Carolina Reaper is the hottest commercially available pepper and averages 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units. Adobo, the sauce used to marinate some Chipotle Mexican Grill meats, most commonly contains chipotle peppers. Chipotle peppers, sourced from Mexico, contain between 2,500 – 8,500 Scoville Heat Units.