Chipotle's Burrito-Bowl-Making Robot Takes The Fun Out Of Trendy Hacks

If you're on TikTok and Chipotle is your jam, you've probably stopped scrolling when one of those Chipotle hacks (like the viral $3 burrito hack) popped up on your feed. Chipotle fans are some of the most creative people out there when it comes to hacking their way to rack up extra food and get a bang for their buck. However, it now seems like those viral hacks might not work anymore, particularly hacks concerning the restaurant's burrito bowl.

In the near future, robots might assemble your burrito bowl at Chipotle. What does that have to do with the clever TikTok burrito bowl hack that scores you two bowls worth of food for the price of one, you ask? The robot, called The Makeline, can make burrito bowls that will be prepared with a pre-determined and precise amount of ingredients. Every burrito bowl made by The Makeline will be the same and you cannot convince it to give you some extra food no matter how nicely you ask (or how much you complain).

The robot was built by the food robotics company Hyphen. Chipotle invested in this venture back in 2022. "We're thrilled to work with Chipotle to find more innovative solutions by removing repetitive tasks from the employee experience so they can focus on creating delicious dishes and providing outstanding hospitality," Hyphen's CEO and co-founder, Stephen Klein, said in a press release at the time.

The robot might fulfill digital orders only

There's still hope for those who plan to dine in. Chipotle is currently hoping to test out the robot for online orders only. While a regular Chipotle employee can prepare about 20 to 30 burrito bowls an hour, The Makeline can make anywhere between 120 to 180 bowls within that same timeframe. "It is more consistent and accurate than a person normally would be going at the same speed," Hyphen's CTO, Daniel Fukuba, told Business Insider. Some fans might be bummed out by The Makeline, but at least Chipotle employees can breathe easy since they won't have to worry about online orders anymore and can focus on in-person ones.

Meanwhile, the internet has mixed feelings about having robots prepare their food. "Wouldn't it be nice if we replaced all Chipotle customers with robots? They would understand what a portion size is, no sass, and wouldn't always ask for a manager," one Redditor opined. Another wrote, "There won't be any more hookups of extra food and if anything you'll get less. People say we skimp but if you look at our employee handbooks that teach us the 'art of portioning', we're actually giving out more of certain items." Chipotle will likely start using The Makeline for its burrito bowls in 2024, so it remains to be seen how the robots will affect food production or portion sizes at the restaurant.