Chipotle employee speaking caption 'Chipotle steak quesadilla' (l) Chipotle restaurant sign outside (c) Chipotle employee speaking (r)

Eric Glenn/Shutterstock @thatveronicagirl/TikTok (Licensed)

‘It’s a fire hazard’: Former Chipotle worker shares theory about why stores refuse ‘Philly cheesesteak’ quesadilla hack

'Cooking is a fire hazard...'


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Posted on Jan 3, 2023

Chipotle’s “Philly cheesesteak” quesadilla is everywhere right now, joining the ranks of viral fast food hacks where intrepid customers deliver their own twist on the official menu.

Spreading on TikTok in Dec. 2022 after being popularized by user Keith Lee (@keith_lee125), this off-menu item involves ordering a steak quesadilla with extra cheese and fajita veggies, plus sour cream and vinaigrette on the side. It supposedly tastes like a Philly cheesesteak, inspiring numerous TikToks with hundreds of thousands of views.

Chipotle workers aren’t necessarily thrilled about this, however, with one Chipotle TikToker going viral last week by complaining about people incessantly ordering the food hack. At the same time, some customers began to report having trouble ordering the quesadilla, with some Chipotle locations refusing to serve it.

Now a former Chipotle employee has come forward with a possible explanation for why workers might refuse to make the cheesesteak quesadilla: it could be a fire hazard in the kitchen.

@thatveronicagirl obviously don’t speak for the brand or the company but this was my personal experience with the Chipotle quesadilla 🤷🏻‍♀️ #chipotle #steakquesadilla #hack #why ♬ original sound – Veronica Brown

“I used to work at Chipotle and if you tried to go in and order that exact meal from my old manager, he’d say no,” explained Veronica Brown (@thatveronicagirl) in her TikTok. “But if you asked another coworker of mine they probably would’ve made it for you. It just depends on the person.”

“The reason that my manager gave is because it’s a fire hazard,” Brown claims. “Apparently it’s a fire hazard to add anything extra to quesadillas, it doesn’t make sense but that’s what he would say. So my guess is it’s in the Chipotle handbook, I don’t know that for a fact.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Chipotle via email for clarification on its quesadilla modification guidelines. Some commenters on Brown’s video argued that this could have simply been her manager’s excuse to avoid dealing with overcomplicated orders, but others offered an alternate explanate.

“I think it’s just a quality control issue,” wrote one. “They don’t have enough supply to meet the demand bc most ppl weren’t getting vinaigrette before.”

Another pleaded, “Please stop getting mad at the employees. Some stores “audit” the cameras, and will write employees up for not following the rules.”

Some customers are clearly frustrated by the fact that some Chipotle restaurants allow the cheesesteak hack while others don’t, but that’s kind of inevitable when ordering an off-menu item. Fast food chains try to make everything as uniform as possible across the board, but it’s harder to regulate an unofficial recipe that people are suddenly ordering thanks to TikTok.

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*First Published: Jan 3, 2023, 2:14 pm CST