15 Questions Chipotle Employees Hate Being Asked

If you ask any Chipotle employee, there are a few questions they'd prefer you not ask. While they're masters of the assembly line, some queries disrupt their burrito-rolling rhythm more than others. Sure, the employees are there to make customers happy, but not every question is created equally. Some of the requests they hate most are for combinations that don't work, or from customers who try to game the system or just aren't paying attention.

Working at Chipotle has its ups and downs. So, if you want to make the Chipotle process run more smoothly for employees, yourself, and everyone in the line behind you, there are a few things you need to know. Sometimes a seemingly innocent question can test the patience of those working to get your favorite Chipotle creation into your hands. Here's what you shouldn't be asking Chipotle employees to ensure the process will go smoothly for everyone.

1. Asking why soupy ingredients are falling out of a burrito

There are lots of condiments available at Chipotle, but if you order many wet ones, it can seriously affect your burrito. It's fine to ask for a few, but when you start with soupy sofritas and then request multiple salsas, extra queso, sour cream, and vinaigrette, you can't expect them to stay put — that's just not how liquids work. Instad, they're going to be seeping out of any opening they can find in the tortilla and making it wet and soggy.

A Chipotle employee writing on Reddit said plainly that you shouldn't "order soup and then complain that ur burrito isn't beautiful." For one thing, it's not easy to roll a burrito with all those ingredients leaking everywhere. And, no, a rewrap isn't going to solve the problem. If you want a lot of soupy ingredients, you're better off ordering a bowl with a tortilla on the side.

2. Requesting extra vinaigrette

Since each restaurant only makes a limited amount of Honey Vinaigrette each day, employees aren't all that thrilled when you request extra. It's so addictive that customers sometimes become irate when an employee tells them there's no more left for the day, one worker wrote.

On Reddit, one employee explains that one of the problems with asking for extra vinaigrette is that "I've gone through multiple pans of vinaigrette cause every single person asked for a minimum of four. I'm just like "you know this stuff will kill you right?" It's yummy because it's made with real honey, oil, wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano. However, just two ounces of the vinaigrette is 220 calories with 16 grams of fat, 850 milligrams of sodium, and 12 grams of sugar. It's hardly the diet condiment of your dreams. Knowing the nutritional content of this addition, maybe you'll be less inclined to ask for eight servings of vinaigrette next time and make your servers just a little happier.

3. Asking the cashier for menu items

Chipotle cashiers are there to ring up your order, not to give you an extra tortilla or a side of guacamole. Asking the cashier for all your extras during a rush is even worse, they note.

By now, most of us have been to a few assembly line-type restaurants like Subway and Chipotle. So, we should know that there's an order to how things happen. At Chipotle, you ask for employees to add ingredients to whatever you're ordering as you walk down the line. This means you shouldn't be asking the cashier at the end for menu items.

Instead, ask for extra items when you pass them in the assembly line. For example, when you're at the beginning of the assembly line where the tortillas are, that's where you should be asking for tortillas, says one employee. When you finally get to the condiment section, that's where you ask for your extra salsas. Not having the cashier touch your food is by design, too, given that they're handling everyone's potentially dirty money.

4. Asking why the prices are higher

Yes, Chipotle menu prices have increased – just like the menu prices practically everywhere else. As of October 2023, the chain had increased its prices four times in just two years. Chipotle has raised those amounts in an attempt to offset inflation and to increase employee wages. Of course, like nearly every other food company out there raising prices, these moves also come with potentially huge revenue increases.

But there's no reason to get upset at employees for a spendier burrito. One Redditor speaks for all Chipotle employees when she says, "Don't complain about our prices to the employees at the store. We literally have no control over how much we charge for your food." It's not like they can magically get the old prices back for you, anyway. Consider that they're likely just as upset at rising food prices when they go out to eat, too.

5. Wondering why they're being charged more for add-ons

Whether you're trying to work the system or not, too many add-ons are going to incur extra costs. Each item has a portion size, which is what the employees are allowed to add without an upcharge. Then, there are a few premium items like guacamole and queso blanco that are always extra, whether you get it on the side or not. So, pay attention to the signage when you order. As one worker says on Reddit, "Going out to eat is expensive sometimes. If you want everything, don't fight with my cashier."

As an anonymous employee said on Reddit, "If you get so much food on your bowl I can't put a lid on it, you will be charged for 2 bowls because that amount of food is equal to two bowls." And if you ask for extra sides for your kid's meal, you may get charged, too.

Just because you ask for a lot of ingredients on the side doesn't mean that they're free. But if you get enough sides, you can combine them into a brand-new bowl, one Redditor notes. Get a tortilla, too, and you've made yourself a completely new burrito. Chipotle knows this, though, so now way you're getting all of those sides for free.

6. Asking for menu items by weird names

While you're not expected to have memorized the Chipotle menu, employees hope you'll come in with at least a passing familiarity with Mexican ingredients. This means it can be a little jarring and somewhat confusing for them when you ask for ingredients by odd names.

If you're new to the restaurant, just know that the bread you'll find at Chipotle is a tortilla, not a pancake or a wrap. The white sauces available are sour cream and queso blanco, not yogurt, ranch, Alfredo sauce, or marshmallow fluff, notes one worker. You have a choice of white or brown rice (both of which have lime and cilantro) and black or pinto beans.

The salsas might be a little tricky, too. Fresh tomato salsa is the mild one. The medium ones are roasted chili-corn salsa and tomatillo-green chili salsa. And if you want to go for a hot salsa, you can choose the tomatillo-red chili salsa. You don't have to know those names by heart. Just memorize this easy list: mild, medium, corn, or hot.

7. Asking for things other chains carry

What you see is what you get at Chipotle. So, it's not good form to ask for things the chain doesn't carry. As one Redditor says, "I always get the 'Can I have a whole wheat tortilla?' Sorry we don't carry that. 'Oh. The other Chipotle does it for me.' No that's QDoba." At Chipotle, the only tortilla extra you have is the option of ordering a second one for a double wrap. Another employee pet peeve: asking for cilantro lime rice. At Chipotle, both white rice and brown rice come with cilantro and lime. So, ordering cilantro lime rice is nonsensical.

As an anonymous employee on Reddit said, "No sir, I will not get you plain corn [...] Chipotle is literally lime juice and cilantro. If you don't like cilantro then [...] Go to Moe's." As it turns out, you've simply gotta know your restaurant.

8. Requesting extra lettuce and expecting the bowl to fit everything

As per Reddit, employees get annoyed "[w]hen people think they can fill their salad bowl over the brim with salad lettuce and then add s*** loads of ingredients on top without them falling off." Sure, the ingredients will weigh down the lettuce to a point, but there's a limit to how much will fit in the bowl when it's full of fluffy greens.

Chipotle isn't like a Mongolian BBQ restaurant, where filling the bowl beyond the rim is expected. A Chipotle employee likely isn't going to mash your ingredients down to fit more. And if they can't fit a lid on top, says one worker, that's when they start charging you for extra sides. The better option is to ask for lettuce or super green as a side rather than trying to fit it all into a bowl. That way, you can get everything you want on your salad and be charged for extra greens rather than extras of more expensive ingredients.

9. Saying no to menu items and then asking for them

One of the biggest pet peeves Chipotle employees have is when customers don't pay attention to what servers are asking them. First, customers fail to listen when they're going through the line. One Redditor recounts this typical customer interaction: "'Would you like any salsa?' 'No' 'Any sour cream, cheese, or lettuce?' 'Mild' 'Okay; sour, cheese, or lettuce?' 'Corn' 'Anything else?' 'Sour cream' 'Cheese and lettuce.' " Ultimately, it's an exasperating waste of time.

Then, when the cashier asks if the customer would like a drink or chips, they say "no" and get upset when the cashier totals their order without adding in drinks or chips they apparently secretly wanted. But the cashier shouldn't have to be a mind reader. Many times, the real problem is that the customer is enmeshed in another world on their phone or in a conversation with a friend rather than paying attention to what's happening with their order.

10. Continuing to ask for more of an ingredient

If you know you're going to want a lot of a certain ingredient, employees wish you'd ask for it upfront. According to a worker on Reddit, "Don't leave the employee guessing or trying to figure out what you want because no one is a mind reader." If you know you want triple rice or double meat, ask for it from the start rather than eking out your order bit by bit.

Asking for more rice is a particular employee pet peeve at Chipotle because, the more rice they give everyone, the faster they go through it all. Then, they have to go through the process of making more rice. It's all the worse when customers throw their extra rice out, especially when it's for no reason. As per an employee on Reddit, "I heard recently that there's a 'Chipotle hack' that if you get more rice you'll get more meat because everything has to be proportional to the rice. I shut that down real quick but I think that might be why." If you want extra meat, simply ask for extra meat rather than extra rice.

11. Requesting fresh ingredients

As Chipotle workers report, some customers walk in, see what's left in a pan of meat or rice, and demand food from a fresh pan. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? But this request is especially annoying if the restaurant is busy. If you refuse what's available, you're holding up everyone in the line. And if you wait around to get food from a fresh pan, you shouldn't expect to get it free either. After all, that request was on you.

All the veggies such as lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro are chopped fresh by hand or machine at the start of the day. So, you're not going to get any fresher versions of those. While the chicken is cooked fresh in the restaurant, the other meats come from a central kitchen and have to be heated and shredded. So, asking for a fresh version may not be exactly what you're expecting or may take some time.

12. Asking for online orders early

According to one Redditor and Chipotle employee, workers get especially peeved when someone walks in and says, " 'I put in an online order but it says it won't be ready for 30 minutes, can I just get it now?' Sure, let me put your order ahead of the 8 other people who didn't put in their order while they were sitting in the parking lot." Just because you're present in the flesh doesn't mean you can jump the line. Just like everyone else, you still have to wait for your turn in the queue. In other words, ordering online isn't a shortcut to get your faster, as the amount of time estimated on the app takes into account all the orders ahead of yours.

That said, you're often welcome to wait inside in case your order is done early. However, it shouldn't be an expectation, especially if the restaurant is busy.

13. Asking for ingredients they've already passed in line

Similar to asking cashiers for things you've already walked past, Chipotle employees wish you'd pay closer attention to the ingredients right in front of you. Just get them when you see them, especially because employees ask you whether you want them or not. As one employee says, "It drives me crazy when [...] I ask if they want any salsas and they said 'no, just cheese' and I go to wrap it up after cheese they say 'can I get the tomatoes?'"

Any time that the employee has to go backward for you, you're holding up the line. We understand that it can be a source of anxiety to have to make all those decisions at once and there are lots of distractions. If you need to, just take a deep breath and slow down a bit to be more present when making your decisions.

14. Asking to fill more orders at the end of the line

The assembly line format doesn't work very well if you come in alone with multiple orders to go. It's much better if everyone on your ticket can walk through the line and order for themselves or if you've got everything planned out in advance — and tell the employees at the beginning. 

If you're walking in alone and have more than one order, you should let the employees know upfront (via Reddit). However, if you have more than three orders, it's even better etiquette to order online. Sure, you can make an order for 15 people all at once going through the line and the employees have to make it for you ... but should you? It's more courteous to the employees and everyone else in line to make big orders online, especially if it's busy. After all, you still pick it up in person.

15. Asking for a quesarito when they're busy

Creating a quesarito is a bit of a bother because it awkwardly deviates from the normal assembly line process. First, someone has to make a quesadilla to use as the wrapper for your burrito. So, that takes them away from keeping the line running smoothly. One Redditor said that, "If there's a decent line that's gonna end up having people behind you, then I wouldn't. Cause it takes too much time and messes up the through-put."

Also, be aware that there may be an upcharge of $3.50 or so for turning your burrito into a quesarito. Quesaritos are a secret menu item, so every store will charge differently for the meal. One Redditor says that the nicest way to order a quesarito is to just do it yourself. "Order a burrito, order a quesadilla, unfold your quesadilla and burrito at your table and plop em together."