People waiting on line at Chipotle(l+r), Chipotle sign(c)

John Hanson Pye/Shutterstock @louie_boujee/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Greatest advertising campaign ever’: Customers think Chipotle’s ‘phone rule’ was a scam to get them back in line

‘Chipotle finessed us.’


Braden Bjella


In response to calls for boycott and walk-outs, some Chipotle customers claim that the restaurant is making a change.

For some background, customers have long complained about shrinking portion sizes at Chipotle. While the company has denied that portions are getting smaller, some internet users have reported dwindling portions—and so, they’ve begun protesting by either walking out of the store mid-order or simply avoiding the chain altogether.

Now, however, a new method of getting a good portion has come to light: the “phone rule.” In short, this is a perceived tactic to receive more food by filming Chipotle workers while they make a burrito or bowl. But does it work?

The Chipotle phone rule

Productive or not, it appears that eaters around the country have taken up this advice about the apparent “phone rule.”

In a clip with over 646,000 views, TikTok user Louie (@louie_boujee) shows a long line at Chipotle.

“Line at Chipotle with everyone with there phones ready,” Louie writes in the text overlaying the video.

Chipotle has previously confirmed to the Daily Dot that there is no “phone rule” at its restaurants. That said, the chain has noted the discussion about the rule, posting a video to their TikTok account in which a Chipotle restaurant is overrun with customers holding their phones up to film employees.


i’m working late, cuz i’m Chipotle

♬ original sound – Chipotle

While many are enthusiastic about the apparent boycott, it does not seem to have affected Chipotle’s bottom line. According to the company’s Q1 2024 financial results, “total revenue increased 14.1% to $2.7 billion” compared to the first quarter of 2023.

That said, given that discussions around the boycott and walk-outs began trending only last month, the financial impact will be difficult to assess until the end of Q2.

Commenters cry Chipotle conspiracy

While the behavior shown in the video was common before the supposed “phone rule,” as many people waste time by looking at their phones, commenters suspected that something was amiss.

@louie_boujee 📽🤣🤣🤣#chipotle #fyp #crenshaw ♬ Big Back Big Back thecincomedy – thecincomedy

In the comments section of this video, some users insisted that the idea of a “phone rule” was actually just a shrewd tactic from Chipotle to try to get customers back into their restaurants.

“I wonder If this was just a scam to get more people to go to chipotle,” wrote a user.

“Chipotle finessed us,” added another.

“Chipotle knew what they were doing. That was a clever move,” stated a third.

“I can’t fathom how people still bother going to chipotle. It’s not good, it’s notoriously skimpy and it’s always dirty,” declared a further TikToker. “All ya’ll doing with this ‘hack’ is giving them money and free adverts.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Chipotle via email and Louie via TikTok direct message.

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