Why has the company earned, The Whiner of the Week? The restaurant chain has admitted to rounding your bill up or down at certain high traffic locations. The rounding is either going up or down to the nearest nickel. Company representatives say the practice is designed to keep the lines moving faster by having the cashiers handle less change.
From a statistical standpoint, the amount of rounding up and down probably cancel each other out over time. And some got their food for slightly less. But my problem is that customers should not be charged extra money without their knowledge.
Why should the customer be expected to subsidize the cost of a slow moving line? A faster lines means more money for Chipotle. If speed is such a concern, than perhaps the company should add extra cashiers or make express lines for those using credit cards.
And how long does it take to count out a few pennies? If the operation is so difficult, there are several automated systems that can dispense the change.
What bothers me most about this strategy is that it’s in direct conflict with part of the restaurant’s mission: “Food with Integrity” is our commitment to always look closer, dig deeper, and work harder to ensure that our actions are making things better, not worse.”
That’s a good policy and the chain does a lot to make sure that animals are treated humanely and produce is harvested in the correct manner. But all of this can be overlooked in an unwise quest for cash register speed. Clearly someone at the company was not connected to its overall values.
Chipotle has stopped the rounding up practice and will continue to round down. That’s a wise move. But I have to wonder if this change would have been made if Chipotle hadn’t been caught red handed? Integrity needs to be worth more than a few pennies.