Man talking(l+r), Chipotle sign(c),

Electric Egg/Shutterstock @erikfnyc/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Fast-food restaurants are charging us a service charge’: Man catches Chipotle adding ‘service charge’ to order, says ‘we’re just paying for the employee’s salaries now’

'I quit eating out completely. I’m done playing their games.'


Nina Hernandez


Posted on Apr 11, 2024   Updated on Apr 10, 2024, 12:35 pm CDT

A man says his wife got charged a “service charge” at Chipotle.

TikTok user Erik (@erikfnyc) posted a video on the subject last week, and it has since garnered more than 1.7 million views. In it, he says his wife alerted him to the situation. “So now fast-food restaurants are charging us a service charge,” he says in the video. “Right here it says ‘service charge.’ When my wife told me she got a service charge at the Chipotle, I was like, ‘What’s a service charge?’”

Erik suspects this is to fund employee salaries. He says, “We’re just paying for the employees’ salaries now. So service fee is for the staff. So they can get a fair wage. California fast-food workers are now making $20. So here in New York, I guess they’re doing the service fee. So I’m guessing we got to pay for all our food, and pay for their wages. So as the rich get richer. We get poorer. Do you really think they’re going to pay their salaries?”

Erik told the Daily Dot that his wife’s office ordered the Chipotle. “I guess it was a big order and they hit them with a service charge,” he shared. He said that her boss called the location to find out where the service charge was going and was told “it was for the worker in the back.”

According to Restaurant Business, the latest National Restaurant Association’s annual State of the Industry Report found that nearly 15% of fast-food restaurants have implemented a food service surcharge. “That’s not much of a lower incidence than the rate for fine-dining, where 17% of establishments have resorted to using the fees,” the article states. “What’s more, 81%of the fee chargers expect to keep the extra fees in place for more than a year.”

Complaints about Chipotle’s pricing often go viral on TikTok, but apparently consumers are beginning to feel like the chain’s prices are in line with the value

@erikfnyc #receipt ♬ original sound – Erikfnyc

In the comments section of Erik’s video, users are finding ways to cut corners. 

One user wrote, “service charge!! Then no tip.”

A second user vowed, “As soon as I see a service charge I will stop going to that place & leave a review on Google maps.”

A third user took even more drastic action. “I quit eating out completely. I’m done playing their games,” they wrote.

Another user recommended that course of action to anyone troubled by the service charge. “*Problem: Service charge. *Solution: Make your own meals at home,” they wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Chipotle via email.

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*First Published: Apr 11, 2024, 6:00 am CDT