The United States wastes an incredible amount of food. According to the USDA, anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of the country’s food supply is wasted, “correspond[ing] to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010.”
While much of this waste happens during the production and transportation stages of the supply chain, a sizable portion occurs in the areas where one might usually expect, such as restaurant waste. Fourth Enterprises LLC estimates that “around 84.3% of unused food in restaurants is thrown away while only 14% is recycled, and only 1.4% is donated.”
This information has left many users wondering what their favorite restaurants do with their leftover food. When it comes to Chipotle, TikTok user Katt (@spicyykatt) has an idea: they simply reheat the food to be served in the morning the next day.
@spicyykatt @Chipotle @With A Touch Of Grace #spicyykatt ♬ original sound – Katt
In a video with over 330,000 views as of Sunday, Katt says, “Someone had told me that if you get Chipotle in the morning, that they give you all the leftovers from the night before or the day before…so it’s not good to go to Chipotle at 11am.”
She then requests that anyone who used to work at Chipotle tell her whether this is true.
The answer, it turns out, is not as easy as it may seem. First, some users claimed that Chipotle did, in fact, reheat food from the night before to be served the following day.
“It’s true! -chipotle employee,” a user wrote.
“Chipotle worker here, best earliest time to come for the newest ‘freshest’ items is 12pm,” added another.
However, others countered that their local Chipotle locations cooked the food fresh every morning.
“My daughter worked with them and she says it’s fresh that they cook it before opening,” a commenter shared.
“Been a while since I’ve worked there but they made us throw everything away at the end of the night and make everything fresh in the AM before opening,” a second user claimed.
When a similar discussion came to Reddit, users provided a similar variety of answers.
“Throw out rice and chips, everything else goes back on the line the next day,” claimed a Redditor.
“Rices and steak are saved and donated to a local food shelter. Chips, taco shells, vinaigrette, fajitas, and lettuce are thrown away (lettuce is composted),” an additional commenter detailed.
“Steak gets weighed, bagged, and a food bank comes and gets that along with leftover plain white/brown rice. Asada gets trashed due to the cilantro in it,” stated a further user. “All other proteins are reheated the next morning.”
In short, it seems to depend on location. However, some say they don’t mind being served leftovers.
As one Redditor put it, “I’m not mad at all at well-seasoned leftover meat.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Chipotle via email and Katt via email.