LAKE FOREST BETWEEN ROCKFIELD AND EL TORO, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a fan of Chipotle ever since I discovered them back several years ago. I used to eat there at least once per week for lunch. What caught my attention was the taste and size of portions. It was a bit pricey, but I thought that the size and taste compensated for the price. About six months ago I started noticing how the portions of the rice and beef where getting smaller and smaller. I talked it over with couple of my coworkers and they all agreed to my finding.
So, I knew it wasn't me over reacting. Today 12-26-13 after not trying Chipotle for over 6 months I decided to give it another chance. To my surprise, the portions were smaller than before. I guess I should have been thankful for experiencing large portions at one point in this restaurant.
After the overly stressful day I had in cyberspace and in real life, I did not feel like cooking on Thursday. So, I ordered Chipotle for my husband and Noodles and Co. for myself. Noodles was great, as usual. Here's the email I ended up sending to Chipotle regarding my experience there...
I am extremely disappointed in the service I received at the Algonquin store this evening. My husband and I adore your burritos and chips and salsa, but after tonight's events, I may have to rethink my preferences. I placed an order online for pickup at 5:25 pm. I arrived at the store at 5:27 pm (according to my watch). When I arrived, I went to the register and asked for my order. The cashier looked to the wall where the tickets were posted and called for another employee while they hurriedly made my order. When they bagged my food, they tried to ring up the order when I informed them that I had already paid when I ordered online.
I then asked for the extra salsa that I had requested in the order and asked why the order wasn't ready when I arrived. They gave the excuse that they like to have it fresh and hot. While I appreciate their concern for the quality of the food, I informed them that the point of ordering ahead is for the food to be ready when the customer arrives. If I was concerned about how hot my food was, I would order it when I arrived at the store. I asked to speak with the manager. When the manager came out, he apologized but gave the same excuse about having the food hot and fresh. At this point, I had to ask twice more for my extra salsa.
When they finally gave it to me, I left. When I arrived home and started to eat my chips and salsa. I noticed that the salsa tasted as though the tomatoes were rotten! This has to have been the worst experience I have ever had in one of your stores and I think it will be a long time before I set foot in it again. I work too hard for my money to throw it away on rotten food and terrible service.
Here's their reply... Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am sorry that your online order with our Algonquin restaurant on Thursday was not ready for you at the specified time. Online ordering is a convenient option designed for customers who would rather bypass the wait in line. Therefore, you should never have to wait for your order to be made upon arrival. I can also imagine your frustration with having our team make excuses for your order not being ready on time, along with having to request several times for your salsa.
Additionally, our salsa should never taste rotten, as it is make fresh, twice daily. I will communicate these issues with the folks who oversee this location and make sure that our online orders are being completed by the designated time and that we are serving simply the freshest ingredients.
I would like redeem your order by sending you a couple free burrito cards and a free chip & guac card (good for salsa too). Simply send me your mailing address and I will get those out to you shortly. Rest assured, your feedback and satisfaction is important to us, and your next order will be top-notch! Thanks for your patience.
See? That's how customer service is supposed to be! Some of the businesses we complain about here should take note.
***Update 9/11/10***: Chipotle has not send me the promised cards. See my next review with this company.
GAMBRILLS, MARYLAND -- Took my mom there for her first visit and we felt very rushed. They put wrong ingredients on our bowls. When we asked them to change, employee rolled her eyes and made smart comment. I asked to speak with the manager. I told her the situation, she said she would speak with her. We went to find a table which was dirty and the whole time we were there, manager never spoke with employee. This is not how I wanted my mom's first time being there to end up.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- I stopped by today to grab lunch to go before work, and ordered my usual steak burrito minus rice and beans. Keep in mind this is not my first time visiting Chipotle. Today the girl making my burrito put an insanely small amount of steak on my burrito. I asked her if the portions got smaller. She said "No, it looks like less because there's no rice and beans on it". That was the silliest thing I've ever heard because I order the same thing all the time and this was the first time out of all my visits I could actually count the pieces of steak. Anyway I asked how much it would be for extra steak and she said 2.75!!!
I said, "No, thank you." and almost thought about cancelling the whole order but there were people behind me. The gentleman behind me even had to ask for more beans on his burrito bowl so it wasn't just my imagination that the portions were being rationed more than usual. I guess I am complaining because when a burrito is 6.00, you would expect a decent size amount of meat. I will go to another location in Jax and compare and if it's still a half scoop of meat I'll just go to Taco Bell from now on.
UPDATE: I received a very nice email from corporate regarding this experience. It is as follows: Thank you for writing to us. I'm sorry we skimped on the amount of steak we added to your burrito the other day. We have not, as a company, instructed our servers to reduce portion sizes so we'll contact our Orange Park restaurant to ensure they're offering the appropriate portions.
For your troubles, we'd like to cover your next meal with us. If you reply with your mailing address, I'll send out one of our burrito bucks (good for any of our meals). I'm confident, the next time you dine with us, your meal will be hearty and delicious. We look forward to serving you again soon!
I was very happy that they took the time to reply to me. A lot of these emails to companies go unanswered. I haven't had the chance to go back to Chipotle yet, but I will soon and will do another review regarding the portions.
ALL ARE WITHOUT -- Why aren't there any changing tables in any of your restaurant locations? That is really not "mommy friendly". Picture this, I have my nine month old son with me and I am almost through my delicious meal at Chipotle when all of a sudden my son has dirtied his diaper. I would think to myself, "I'm sure they have a changing table, everyone nowadays has one in their facilities... why wouldn't they, a multi million dollar company can surely afford a changing table right?" Well to my surprise NO, there is nothing. I have to resort to sitting on the toilet, put my son on my lap laying down and try to change his poopy diaper as quickly and cleanly as possible.
Now you give that a shot and see how fun that is! As I did some research, I found out that the Founder, Ceo and Co-Ceo are all males, maybe that has something to do with the fact that it never even crossed anyone's mind to add changing tables in the restrooms. You know what the saddest part of this story is? Well before I had my son, it never even dawn on me that you did not have them in you restaurant. Now that I would need them it has become as obvious as day, and it is not pleasant to change your child in that such way.
I absolutely love Chipotle; my family and I eat there about four times a month, if not more. I would hate to have to stop eating there over a silly little issue that can be resolved in a matter of days, and I am sure there are many mothers (and fathers) out there that feel the same way I do. Please add changing tables to your bathrooms, why would you not? Wal-mart has them, McDonald's has them every restaurant has them... so tell me, why would you not?
MINNEAPOLIS -- I ate at Chipotle 3 weeks ago. My wife and I had been sent a "free burrito" coupon and we both ordered the vegetarian burrito bowl. My wife finished hers at the restaurant and I finished half and brought the rest home. Later that evening when I was finishing it I bit into something foul tasting and soft. It was a piece of already chewed gum (mint). Absolutely disgusting! I reported this to the restaurant manager who referred me to their liability law firm, Gallagher and Associates. Gallagher asked me send in the remainder of the food along with the gum, which I did. They called today to offer me a settlement: we'll reimburse you for the price of your meal - $7.49.
I was floored. It's not like I found a twist tie or a piece of a plastic fork in my food, I found something that's been in contact with body fluids and who knows what else. Was it also on the bathroom floor or in the garbage can? The point being, I highly doubt Chipotle's CEO, or anyone for that matter, would take $7.49 to put a piece of already been chewed gum that's been who knows where in their mouth.
I told them that I wasn't interested in profiting from this, but that the compensation offered was disrespectful considering the nature of the incident: I patronized their business (isn't that what they wanted by sending me the coupon?) and paid for my meal only to have the most primary and basic expectation of restaurant dining breached: that my food was clean and safe. When I explained this to the claims clerk, she said yeah, I understand but that's all I'm going to offer.
Also, she said that had this occurred on the premises instead of at home, then I would have been offered a higher compensation. And having it occur on the premises vs. at home makes it more verifiable how exactly (I could have thrown a piece of gum into my food)? Needless to say, I think it speaks loudly of where this company's priorities lie.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- On 6/6/12 at around 2:30 pm I purchased a burrito bowl. When I got home I lifted the bag and there is a stain that made me think I spilled the bag. I looked and the bag had been upright along with the product. There were no signs of spilling over the top either or around the edge of the bowl. What I did notice was the bottom of the bowl was leaking. I took it back and asked for the store manager his name was **. He inspected it said it doesn't happen a lot but it looks like I got a defective bowl. I explained it leaked on my car seat cover and asked what they would do about it. He looked confused. I asked about getting it spot cleaned and being repaid the cost.
He said he would need the GM to authorize that, he couldn't. I asked how I would get ahold of him and ** went and got ** who also admitted the bowl looked defective as it had no damage or obvious holes but was leaking and soggy. He said he could replace the bowl as there are health issues with serving it like that but he could do nothing about the car. I asked his name and the other guys name so I could take this further and he handed me his card then walked away without saying anything. He didn't even care enough to look at the seat or that we were really talking about a few dollars to spot clean the seat and I would be fronting the cost.
MEDINA, OHIO -- The employees were just rude to me. I felt like I wasn't welcome there. Also, I felt like half of them smelled like alcohol and drugs. I don't know if the managers are okaying them to do so, but I feel like that's against the law and company policies. I would like this place to be invested or shut down. I will never return back to this company again until I know that the managers and employees are clean. Also, I overheard one of the employees talking about doing drugs at the work place. I cannot believe the manager was allowing them to talk about it at a work place.
On 12/08/10, I ate at the Chipotle in Oak Brook, IL on 22nd St. I asked to speak with the manager. She was a very short (4'11" Hispanic woman). I am a vegetarian and wanted guacamole tacos. In the past, when I have asked for guacamole tacos, I have ended up with very soggy tomato tacos with a garnish of guacamole. That wasn't what I wanted. I wanted guacamole tacos. So, I told her what I wanted. I wanted an order of tacos. That isn't what she charged me for (unbeknownst to me at the time). She charged me for two tacos, when I expected to get three. At no time did I tell her I wanted to buy my tacos individually.
I was charged $2.20 per taco + $1.80 for guacamole (for a total of $6.71 with tax). The guacamole was the main ingredient for my vegetarian tacos. It was not like I was asking for extra garnish. When someone buys meat tacos you do not charge extra for the meat. When I left I was starving and had to go eat lunch someplace else. Also, the parking spots in the parking spots only left about 14" in between cars. If I lived close to that location, I wouldn't go there anyway, because the chances of your car getting dinged are extremely high. How is a vegetarian supposed to get what they order and not be overcharged?
ALGONQUIN, ILLINOIS -- So, three weeks ago I posted a compliment for the restaurant about a negative experience and their positive response. Here it is three weeks later and I'm still waiting for them to come through with their promised gift cards. I waited two weeks before responding to corporate about the lack of cards. The following day (this past Monday), the manager of the store in question called me and was falling all over himself in apologizes about the poor service and he promised to send me the aforementioned gift cards.
I gave him my address and waited patently to no avail. Even with the holiday, the absolute latest the cards should have arrived in my mailbox was yesterday or today. While I am not specifically angling to get free food, the service was poor and they have promised to make good. I'm just trying to get them to hold up their end of the bargain.
Although I never received a word from Chipotle corporate, I did receive the promised gift cards in the mail this afternoon. No apology for taking so long, but I'm sure that my complaint on Saturday had something to do with me getting what was promised to me 8 days after I spoke with the manager and over 3 weeks after I was contacted by corporate.