If you’ve ever stumbled upon the corners of TikTok where Chipotle is the hot topic of conversation, you probably already know that no small number of customers seem to have a real love-hate relationship with the fast food chain. The complaints are frequently the same: the food is good, but the portions are inconsistent while the prices continue to rise. But one man is giving voice to a new type of frustration among Chipotle eaters after an awkward exchange with the worker making his meal.
“I’ve given up on being polite when I go to Chipotle, because it seems to get you nowhere these days,” Ryan Lynch (@ryanisreallypolite) tells viewers in a recent video. “Back in the day, if you made eye contact, you asked how the person was doing before you ordered, and you waited for them to respond, you actually were able to get a proper portion.”
That wasn’t the case during a recent visit, Lynch explains, recounting that he went to the restaurant to order a burrito bowl with a tortilla on the side. But when the worker started making him an actual burrito instead, Lynch apologized and politely corrected him—only to have the employee insist that he had, in fact, ordered a burrito.
After “things got tense for a moment,” the employee finally offered to make what the TikToker says he ordered to begin with, though Lynch admits he was frustrated that the man tried to pin it on him rather than just acknowledging he made a mistake.
“I got a sloppy bowl with a portion of chicken that was half,” he adds. “I also heard somebody at the register say ‘Sir, shut the f*ck up.’ It was to a DoorDash person. I guess he was just asking for his order.
Lynch concludes, “I hope that Chipotle is the first fast-casual restaurant where all of the human employees are replaced by robots.”
On the one hand, an employee declining to acknowledge a mistake while still making the (debatably) proper order at the end of the conversation doesn’t seem like the biggest deal in the world. It certainly wouldn’t have been worth making a fuss about in the restaurant, although there’s no immediate indication Lynch did anything like that.
However, others seemed to share the TikToker’s frustration with both employee attitudes and the inconsistent portioning he mentioned both here and in other videos where he has ranted about Chipotle.
@ryanisreallypolite I hate that i love you #confrontation ♬ original sound – RYAN LYNCH
“Chipotle has the meanest employees, i get anxiety just walking in,” wrote @jholland1218.
“The amount of chicken you get 100% depends on the employees mood,” @miss_brittanyx0 claimed. “It’s wild.”
“Love Chipotle food but you’re 100% with this. In mine half the employees always at a table eating and the rest are surly and inconsistent. And it’s $17,” @stylindog agreed.
One alleged employee tried to shed some light on what may be going on, writing, “I always try to portion well but you can never win. It’s either management telling you to go light or customers getting mad at you.”
Lynch seemed to take this to heart, making a follow-up video with his simple suggestion for how Chipotle corporate can standardize portion sizes, which he theorizes will not only make customers happy but cause employees less grief. Rather than using a large spoon to scoop out the portions, he suggests using a measuring cup.
“The issue with this spoon is that it frustrates us, and I believe that we all are personally taking it out on your employees, which is making them even more upset and angry to be working for you,” he says. “So I really believe that for the sake of your employees’ mental health and for your customer satisfaction, I think this is the move.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Lynch via TikTok comment and Chipotle via email.