Chipotle Is Going Viral On TikTok Because Of Its Portion Sizes

For reasons only the internet knows, a TikTok from December of 2020 has recently been receiving renewed attention. In the video, taken by a Chipotle customer, a Chipotle worker scoops a small amount of steak into the customer's bowl. The movements seem a bit calculated, as if the employee were mentally weighing every morsel. The customer repeatedly asks for extra steak. "Why Chipotle employees act like they scooping out of their paycheck when they making these bowls and burritos," the text overlay reads. 

The customer who posted the video isn't alone in their opinion that Chipotle skimps on portion sizes, especially for proteins. "Half spoon of this, half spoon of that. I get tired of having to beg for what I'm paying for!" one commenter replied. "I also feel like they legit changed how much meat they give recently," another said. Others said that the employee was simply following his manager's instructions, while one user answered the original poster's question more directly: "Because his paycheck literally depends on skimping steak."

Chipotle did crack down on portion control

However you feel about Chipotle's portion sizes, the reality is that the chain has made some changes to its serving styles and pricing in recent years. In September of 2020, Eat This, Not That revealed why Chipotle's portions may have started to seem smaller to customers. It wasn't because the company officially imposed smaller serving sizes; rather, the pandemic made it easier to enforce existing ones. Here's why: The rise of digital ordering meant that workers no longer experienced the social awkwardness of not giving extra food to eyebrow-raising customers standing right in front of them. "The crew will see just the way that a customer is looking at them and think, 'Oh, I better put another scoop in,'" Jack Hartung, Chipotle's CFO, described. Now, employees are able to serve more consistently.

Besides evening out its portion sizes, Chipotle has also done away with a menu loophole allowing customers to get free tortillas with burrito bowls, which some customers used as a hack to create a bigger burrito. Now, the restaurant charges $0.25 per tortilla, reports Food & Wine. Most recently, in June of 2021, Business Insider shared that Chipotle increased its menu prices by 4% to offset higher wages for the workers. So, if you want extra steak with your burrito bowl, expect to pay more for it.