16 Pros and Cons of Working for Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill is what is called “fast-casual” food, which means it is a cut above fast food, but still pretty fast. In some ways, it is a typical restaurant as far as work goes, but there are some nice benefits, like free food that is more healthy than most fast food places.

There are bonuses for work and opportunities for advancement.

There are more than 3,000 Chipotle restaurants, and they are in every state except Hawaii and Alaska.

As far as restaurant work goes, it has a lot to offer, but a lot depends on local management and there can be a deep downside.

Pros of working at a Chipotle

1. Free food

One of the best positives of working at Chipotle is the free food.

When you are at work you can make what you want and eat for free.

When you are not at work you can still get a 50 percent discount on food.

For a single person, this could provide most of your food, making your paycheck go a lot further.

Chipotle prides itself on using the best ingredients in its food, so the free food here would be a great benefit.

2. Bonuses

If the restaurant does well, the wealth is shared with employees.

Every quarter there is a bonus of up to a week’s worth of pay.

If you work a year, and you and the restaurant do well, you could end up with an extra month’s pay.

Bonuses are available for regular crew members as well as management and support staff.

There are also yearly bonuses for people in management.

3. Opportunity to advance

There are part-time positions that some students take to help them get through school.

There are also full-time positions, which is for 37 hours or more a week. 

Everyone starts out as a basic crew manager, and there are opportunities to advance to higher positions and into management or support staff.

Evaluations are given every six months and raises are given if earned.

Management and support staff are on salary.

4. Solid benefits package

Even entry-level crew members get a good benefits package.

There is paid time off available, as well as educational assistance to help students further their education.

Health insurance is available, as well as gym membership discounts.

There is a 401k savings plan, and after a year you may buy stock in the company. 

As you go up the ladder, the benefits are more robust and there are more of them.

5. Fun environment

It is a fast-paced environment, so you won’t be bored.

The work is not physically hard, but you might be on your feet for a long time. 

You stay busy most of the time, and there is a positive environment in most establishments which makes working more fun.

Employee reviews say workers are treated well and with respect.

The environment is one of the most common positives employees report from working there.

6. Positive work culture

Most employees report that the company fosters a positive working culture.

It is a fun place to work.

Managers and crew members work together with a strong team concept in all areas.

The company wants happy employees and they seem to do things to make that happen by creating a sound work culture.

Restaurant work can be good or bad, but there seems to be some effort in place to make this a positive place to work. 

7. Working with the public

If you like working with the public, this could be a great job if you are a server.

There are lots of opportunities to meet people and interact with customers throughout the day.

Most people coming there to eat are in a good mood, and it is a positive experience for everyone.

Some jobs do not have as much exposure to working with the public, but it is still one of the positives of working there.

8. Good place to start

You can get an entry-level job with no experience, and they actually prefer no experience for those jobs.

There is a solid training program, so you can get off to a good start. It is a good job for a student who wants a job for a short time before moving on to something else if you don’t want to make a career of it.

It’s also a good place to see if the restaurant business is a good fit for you.

Cons of Working at Chipotle

1. Food safety rules

Since Chipotle uses mostly fresh ingredients, there is always a chance of food spoiling.

The company takes great pride in food safety, and as a result, there are a lot of rules to follow in this area.

Making sure you are always very clean, and that the food is clean, takes some effort and maybe the hardest part of working there.

The company is relatively laid back except when it comes to food safety.

For the public, it is a positive, but for the worker, there is a lot to remember and do.

2. Working with the public

Working with the public is a positive most of the time, but there are times when it is a negative.

You have to be pleasant even to customers who are being rude and unreasonable.

You might have to put on a happy face when you are not feeling well.

While there is a positive side, there is also a deep negative side to working with the public.

If you do not like working with the public, this would not be a good job for you.

3. Short-staffed at times

Chipotle wants workers to be healthy and does not want to take chances on spreading illness.

Workers with colds are encouraged to stay home, and there is a pretty lax sick policy.

This can result in being short-staffed and you may have to take on extra work during your shift because people are out sick.

You could also be asked to work beyond your normal quitting time as a result of people calling in sick.

4. Hard on your legs and feet

While the work is not overly hard, you may have to be on your feet for most of your shift, depending on your individual job.

This is tiring and can wear down your legs and feet over time. 

Uniforms are provided but shoes are not. It is a good idea to invest in good quality shoes if you work at Chipotle.

Being on your feet all day in a fast-paced environment can leave you tired at the end of the day.

5. Can get stressful

The work is not hard and there is a positive environment, but when a lot of customers arrive at once it can get stressful.

You can get pressured to make the fast pace even faster, and you still have to avoid mistakes with food and with orders.

The pressure is not there all the time, but when it is, it can be intense.

If you don’t like that sort of thing, Chipotle might not be the place for you.

6. Some work is tedious

If you are in the food-prep area, you may have to do a lot of repetitive tasks that can get boring.

There are a few positions like that at Chipotle.

Some of the work is very detailed and there are exact specifications.

This can get tedious and boring, and there is pressure not to make any mistakes.

There is little variety in this type of work, which can add to the boring or tedious feelings that may arise.

7. You can get stagnated

While there are bonuses and regular reviews for raises, that does not mean the raises are automatic.

Some managers are more free with raises than others and it can be subjective as to whether you are doing a good job or not.

Some employees report not getting raises when they feel they should have had them.

Promotions may not become available at Chipotle where you work, but you may be able to transfer to another store.

8. Luck of management

Working at Chipotle can be great if you have good management.

Even a good job can be bad when you have bad management.

When you go to work at a Chipotle you never know what the management will really be like.

Bad managers can cause a lot of problems and make the work harder than it should be.

It will take a little time to figure out management, but this can be negative or positive out of your control.

16 Pros and Cons of Working for Chipotle – Summary Table

Pros of working at a ChipotleCons of Working at Chipotle
1. Free food1. Food safety rules
2. Bonuses2. Working with the public
3. Opportunity to advance3. Short-staffed at times
4. Solid benefits package4. Hard on your legs and feet
5. Fun environment5. Can get stressful
6. Positive work culture6. Some work is tedious
7. Working with the public7. You can get stagnated
8. Good place to start8. Luck of management

Should you work at Chipotle?

If you like restaurant work, Chipotle could be a good place to work.

It is a good place to get a job without experience.

The pay is average and they have a reputation for having a good work environment or culture.

It offers free food and a solid benefits package, which is more than many restaurants offer.

Chipotle is as good as any chain restaurant to work for and is better than many.

It can be a good short-term job, or it can be an entry into a career in the restaurant business.

If you think you would like restaurant work, Chipotle would be a good place to work.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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