For many people who eat out for lunch daily, Chipotle is a staple restaurant with its quick moving lunch lines, relatively inexpensive food and high quality product. However new reports suggest that Chipotle may have been rounding up your check all along, and taking your penny’s with every order.
Chipotle locations across the country have been rounding our checks up or down depending on the dollar amount, to speed up their long lines. In Chipotle’s busiest markets in particular, New York and New Jersey, the registers rounded up or down depending on where the coin fell nearest to the nickel. The Star Ledger initially discovered this practice, and a Chipotle spokesperson has recently responded.
“The idea is simply to limit the possible combinations of change on cash transactions to keep the lines moving quickly in high volume areas,” spokesman Chris Arnold said. “It was never our intention to have a policy that was confusing or misleading.”
Apparently rounding to the nearest nickel helps to curb long lines and increase efficiency at many high volume Chipotle locations. Arnold also stresses that the company has not seen any kind of profit from this practice. In response, Chipotle locations in New Jersey will no longer round up to the nearest nickel, only down beginning on August 1st.
Knowing the way Chipotle operates, I find their change practice perfectly understandable. The restaurant chain has never struck me as being ‘cheap’, always offering to put more of any ingredient in a meal and complying with many customer demands. Chipotle is hardly the first business to round the change, local restaurants have even done it to the nearest dollar, and Canada did away with the penny in March. If I have to pay two cents a day to get in and out of Chipotle in under five minutes, I’ll consider it money well spent.
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