Why So Many People Are Boycotting Chipotle

Why So Many People Are Boycotting Chipotle



I’m weird.

Anytime I get Chipotle, I go home and weigh it.


The last 5 times I weighed it, it was around 39 oz to 42 oz.

I do the add-ons like double chicken, guac, and queso.


Still, 42 oz is a lot of food!


I am completely aware of how Chipotle has been getting affected by skimping accusations.

I’ve also been the victim of a skimped bowl plenty of times.


However, for the most part, the scale has been favorable to Chipotle.

They’ve hooked it up.

Yet, they are facing tons of backlash.


Lessons in Human Nature


Humans mimic.

When they hear the herd say something, they will immediately say it themselves.


Chipotle is being flooded with a bunch of skimping accusations right now because we compare it to what it once was.

There was the Old School Chipotle and the New School Chipotle.


The Old School Chipotle didn’t measure their food at all.

They would just pile it on without fail.


The former CEO’s philosophy was:

‘Give the customers as much food as they want. Because ultimately, giving out more food doesn’t negatively affect our bottom line. It only positively impacts our top line.’


Then the new CEO came.

This guy enforced more rules.


They would no longer just liberally give out food.

They would train their employees to give out specific ounces.


Despite the change in structure, I don’t think the portion sizes have drastically changed.

Unless you are ordering online, of course.


For the most part, they still give you your money’s worth.

But if the public turns on you, then new people being introduced to your brand will turn on you.


They will enter the brand thinking:

‘How will Chipotle harm me in this interaction?’


Can Chipotle Ever Return Back to its Previous Status?


I saw one idea floating around that would help Chipotle shake off the backlash.

Instead of having a spoon to measure the chicken, have a measuring cup.

That makes things fair.


Because although I haven’t been affected too much by low portion sizes, I know that a lot of people have.

There are TikTok videos of skimped bowls floating around the internet.


For a lot of these videos, I think the chicken portion is reasonable, while the creator does not.

Since we are having 2 different perceptions, I believe it’s important to take the gray areas out of it.

Make it black or white.


Just use a measuring cup.


1 measuring cup for 1 portion of chicken.

2 measuring cups for double chicken.




If they do that, I still don’t think they will return back to their old school status.

But I do think they will shake off the skimping label.


A restaurant that is known to skimp is like a comedian who is known to steal jokes.

It’s reprehensible.


Where Does Chipotle Go From Here?


The only person that can shoot Chipotle in the foot is Chipotle.

The same spoon that rose them to glorious heights is now the same spoon digging their grave.


I loved that Chipotle didn’t use measuring cups or anything like that.

The workers were simply given a spoon.

Since the chicken wasn’t coming out of their paycheck, they would liberally use the spoon to hook up the customers.


I worked fast food for a couple of years.

I understand the pressure that a lot of managers are under.


There was a time I used to have a coworker in Subway who would make a sub for himself without letting our manager know.

Within a few weeks, he was fired.


How did the manager know that only 1 sub was not logged?

He knows because everything gets measured.


Chipotle managers are no different.

They have a rulebook where they are given portion sizes to follow by corporate.


When I worked in the subway, we had a rulebook.

8 slices of turkey for a footlong and 4 slices of turkey for a 6-inch.


8 and 4 are crisp numbers.


Chipotle has to operate in ounces, which is always going to be subjective.

Luckily, in my opinion, Chipotle has some of the most delicious food out there.

The macronutrients in the bowls work perfectly for gym bros.


You can easily get 150 plus grams of protein plus tons of fiber.

I don’t see Chipotle going away anytime soon.


The Lessons from Chipotle


The main lesson that I learned from Chipotle is that brands go up and down.

In my freshman year of college, they were the hottest brand out there.

Lines were huge!


Then they were affected by the food poisoning scandal.

Their brand value plummeted.


Then they rose again because of the quality of their food.

You could customize the bowl in so many ways.


Now they are being hit with skimping accusations.


Although I haven’t been affected by this, I realize each Chipotle is different.

Many patrons are complaining about the scandal as of late.


When the public begins to turn on you, new members who are introduced to your brand will give you the guilty till proven innocent treatment.


I think Chipotle is too powerful to take down though.

It’s only a matter of time before they have an upswing again.


They can never make me hate you, Chipotle.

I’m going to be a loyal supporter through the thick and thin.


My feedback is to pin down the portion philosophy.

If giving out a lot of meat doesn’t affect the bottom line, stick with the spoons.

Allow the workers to liberally give out the food.


If giving out a lot of meat does significantly affect the bottom line, then switch to measuring cups.

Don’t make the transition something that takes a long time.

The quicker you do it, the quicker the public will get off your back.


Ultimately, loyal supporters want you to win.

When the public turns on you, don’t view it as a lifeline sentence.

Make the changes and win back their good graces.


For more insights into brand building, check out the Art & Science of Storytelling Book





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