Chipotle CEO says portions have not gotten smaller and shares a tip

@fortune/TikTok jetcityimage/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I’m taking this video to Chipotle right now’: Chipotle CEO says portions have not gotten smaller and shares a tip. It backfires

‘I just know that shrug to ask for bigger portions is gonna haunt him.’

 

Alexandra Samuels

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Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol recently denied claims that the chain’s portion sizes are getting smaller, despite hundreds of people taking to TikTok and other social media platforms with their complaints. In repudiating these claims, however, he gave a tip for disgruntled guests unhappy with their food sizes. And the internet is tearing him to shreds.

In a recent interview with Fortune, Niccol declared that “the portions have not gotten smaller.” But then, he went a step further. He said that if customers want more of a certain food item, such as rice or pico de gallo, to just give employees a special look. Niccol followed that with a kind of nod, adding that this will ensure “our guys—and women—give … a little more scoop.”

He said that this secret system—of giving employees a disappointed look—was “one of the things I think is great about Chipotle.” 

“We always want to give people big portions that get them excited about their food,” Niccol said. “Our goal is to give people great experiences.”

@fortune Chipotle CEO: Our portion sizes aren’t getting smaller—but you can get more rice or pico by giving a look. #chipotle #chipotleportions #chipotleorder #ceo #portionsizes #business #businesstiktok #businesstok #food #foodie #foodtok #restaurant #fastfood #mexicanfood #burrito #dinner #eat #news #chipotlehacks ♬ original sound – Fortune Magazine

Why are customers flaming Chipotle? 

In his interview, Niccol said that giving out big portions is part of Chipotle’s brand. 

“It’s kind of who we are,” he said. “Now if you want double the amount of meat, you’ve got to pay for it. But our goal is to get people really excited about, what I believe is, really delicious food.”

However, several customers have taken to social media to say that they’ve experienced something different.

“Bro has never been to a Chipotle,” one TikTok user declared.

A number others joked that Niccol’s suggestion of giving a disappointed look to workers is far from true. 

“The cheat code for more Chipotle is just a quick shrug of disappointment, per the CEO,” one X user (@TyrannyBanks) wrote.

“Chipotle CEO says to just give the employees a disappointed shrug, then they will give you more food,” user @trustfundterry added.

Some made videos on TikTok poking fun at Niccol’s interview.

In one video, Mackenzie Barmen (@mackenziebarmen) re-recorded herself moonlighting as Niccol. Not only did she mock the expression that Niccol said disheartened customers should use to get more food, but she also made fun at his clarifying that Chipotle hires “guys” and “women.” 

“The portions haven’t gotten smaller, guys,” Barmen (cosplaying as Niccol) said. She later joked that if customers “don’t get enough” then they should pretend that they’re going to hit the worker making their food. “Our guys will put more in there—and our girls. Our women,” she said. “But seriously, stop.”

@mackenziebarmen Just stop ok #chipotle #comedy #satire #skit #improv #sketch ♬ Promotional – FlyFlyMusic
@saadinthehouse How to get more food at @Chipotle #chipotle #ceo #chipotleportions #chipotlehacks #foodtok #foodies ♬ original sound – Saad Qureshi

Why are customers upset with Chipotle?

Many Chipotle customers believe that their portion sizes have shrunk over the years. On the Chipotle subreddit, one user said that they used to eat at the chain several times a week. “I haven’t been in a year,” they wrote. “It’s inconsistent, expensive, and the portions are terrible.” 

The backlash has led some customers to try backhanded ways of getting bigger bowls. Some have claimed that recording workers while they prepare orders will lead to bigger meals, for instance. Others have advocated for boycotting the chain entirely.  

Niccol’s interview comes amid rising prices at Chipotle. And, in May, the Daily Dot reported that Chipotle workers were reportedly told to gauge customers’ reactions when measuring out food.

Customers appeared skeptical that this new video would lead to further change. But, based on the comments, it’s fair to assume that people will be trying out Niccol’s disappointed shrug to attempt to get bigger portions. 

“Can’t wait to see the ‘head nod’ Chipotle videos,” one TikTok user said. 

“I’m taking this video to Chipotle right now,” another quipped. 

“I just know that shrug to ask for bigger portions is gonna haunt him,” a third person commented.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Chipotle via email.

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