Chipotle's Unique Point Ordering System Is Turning Heads On Reddit

The main bean, cheese, and protein ingredients at Chipotle might be simple, but combining them produces a dizzying array of options. To keep things streamlined, Chipotle has instituted a clear pricing structure that escalates as diners add ingredients to their orders. Reddit has spilled the pinto beans on how that system works.

Business Insider says there are over 65,000 different ways to order up a bowl, burrito, salad, or taco at a Chipotle location. Scrape Hero claims there are just over 3,000 locations in the United States. In theory, you could visit each of those locations over 20 times before you would have to repeat an order. Some of those orders will cost more than others, though, as Chipotle's point ordering system lays out.

As commenters on a Reddit thread point out, if you're looking for some "Cheap-otle," you should know what ingredients to avoid and which additions you can splurge on.

Save on orders with three points or less

Chipotle regulars are familiar with the chain's assembly line ordering system, but a secret Chipotle doesn't want you to know is that the choices you make on that line dictate how much you will pay at the end. A thread on r/Chipotle makes it clear.

Essentially, each ingredient comes with a point designation in the system of zero, one, or two. As the original poster points out, cheese is one point, for example One user explains further down the thread, "If you get an entree that adds to 3 or less using that chart, it is supposed to be rung up cheaper. Normally half the price give or take."

Using the chart, there are many possible combinations for an entree that will keep you under three in the point system. For example, a burrito with pico de gallo and chicken would be three points. As an alternative, you could get both beans and rice and then add cheese, as all of those are one-point items. All of the proteins and guacamole are two points each, so that's where you want to avoid doubling up if you're looking to save.

There is some debate in the thread about how official this chart is, however. For example, a Redditor said that at their location, "We give 3 pointers for rice meat and cheese," although that doesn't seem to be the case at all locations. Overall, it seems that keeping your order to three points or fewer is a sure way to save.