Tuesday, February 7, 2023

No, Chipotle, I’m Not Ordering Off Your App

Chipotle is one of my most favorite fast casual restaurants of all time. Mainly, I love their guacamole and salsas. I even go to them to get guac whenever I make tacos at home. Lately, the pandemic has gotten bad in New Jersey again, which means that some restaurants are working with more social distancing, 

I went into Chipotle and found about ~20 people, give or take, masked and unmasked, waiting for their food. As I got up to the counter, I read the sign: WE ARE DIGITAL ONLY! ORDER OFF OUR APP. 

No, Chipotle, I’m Not Ordering Off Your App

Why I Hate Chipotle’s App

I went to Grubhub, and it wasn’t taking orders for this particular branch. I got fed up and left. Sorry, Chipotle, but this is complete and utter bullshit. Trying to force people to download an app so they can order your food is a great way to alienate your clients. Here’s why:

  • Some people don’t have smart phones. 
  • Others (like me) have very limited space on their phone that should not be given to apps they might use once a month.
  • Your app doesn’t prevent the spread of COVID-19, since you had people waiting for their food without their masks inside the restaurant.
  • Your app is stupid.

There, I said it. It’s a stupid app. And preventing orders from Grubhub is just kind of being low about it. A good rule of thumb for restaurant management is that you shouldn’t turn down orders when people are waving money in your face.

Not The Only Fast Food Place Trying This

Chipotle is not the only fast food place (erm, “fast casual” place) to have an app. Taco Bell and McDonald’s both have apps where you can order food and pick it up. McDonald’s also occasionally features their swag on their app. 

The difference, of course, is that Taco Bell and McDonald’s don’t try to shove peoples’ throats and bar them from buying without using the app. Moreover, they don’t force people to use it. Shocker—these chains still have my business in one form or another. 

Chipotle? Not so much. Sorry, your guac is good, but not that good.

Photographer: David Sundberg / Esto

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a food critic, writer, and at home culinary enthusiast!

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