How Chipotle Prevents Guac From Turning Brown, According To Reddit

Guacamole is a fickle mistress. It's smooth, it's creamy, it has a nutty taste that can be enhanced with all sorts of ingredients, and  — oh. It's brown already.

The origins of guacamole stretch back farther than one may think, with some sources claiming that the predecessor to the modern-day incarnation of guacamole can be traced to the Aztecs of early Central America in the 1500s. Per Statista, in 2020 it was reported that, in the United States alone, 2.7 billion pounds of avocado were consumed, and perhaps we have the popularity of places like Chipotle to thank for that.

It's certainly no secret that Chipotle has an audience, with a Mexican-style cuisine similar to that of the fast food giant Taco Bell, but with the capability to customize your order in front of you, much like Subway. Yet, this fresh food approach comes at a cost. Guacamole is known for turning brown pretty quickly and with the amount of guac Chipotle whips up, you'd think they'd be tossing a lot of brown slop in the trash each day. How exactly can a business keep their easily spoiling food from turning so fast and still keep a profit without wasting anything?

According to one employee, it's not so much as it is keeping it from going brown as it is hiding it from the customer.

Chipotle employees mix the guacamole together

On the subreddit r/Chipotle, one user posted an image of a bunch of avocados sliced in half, pit and all, along with the caption, "Told the transfer guy to start guac..." While some commentators joked about the employee's unconventional way of cutting avocados, one commentator had a particular question: Why doesn't Chipotle's guac turn brown? 

"The guac most certainly does brown, even if it's covered under 2 layers of plastic wrap," answered a Redditor and apparent Chipotle employee. They went on, "We are instructed to mix each pan around before putting it on the line to unveil the green underneath the oxidized browning because otherwise customers will complain it looks rotten and that we're serving old food."

Of course, we have to wonder, is this a practice by all Chipotle locations or is this some sort of regional thing that only a few stores do? According to a Quora user, this is something they also do at their location. They do claim, however, that the guac is made fresh each day and it's placed on the line for two hours at a time. When it starts to brown, more fresh guac is added on top and mixed around to make it look more "appetizing."

While this may be upsetting for some, per the Food Network, brown guac is safe to eat even if it looks a bit off. As long as it's refridgerated and used within three days, that guac is just fine.