Chipotle is the pioneer in fast assembly-line restaurants. You can line up and help a worker build your meal, while you watch. This system is foolproof, at least that's what I thought until I read MarketWatch's investigative story about how Chipotle handles the rise in online orders in a world of pandemics. After reading the stories of several Chipotle employees, I was shocked at what they go through.
One employee described the struggles with online orders.
He said that people would stare at us and be angry. Orders were arriving faster than they could be fulfilled. Orders of 75, 80 and 90 items would often be placed within 15 minutes.
According to the article, it is not true that a complex and complicated robotic ordering system can work with an existing real-life arrangement. Chipotle employees share their experiences with how they handle these complicated online orders when you are not there. You can see that they will not fulfill your order if they run out of steaks or beans. This is a real problem with an unsatisfactory official process.
We were told that if they don't have steak, we can give them chicken. He said that managers at his store will intervene to ensure workers are not yelled at.
This article not only describes the experience of working on the frontline at Chipotle but also includes tone-deaf corporate statements and union-sponsored walkouts (Chipotle has not yet been unionized). This excellent article will show you how much your burrito actually costs. I'm now reconsidering whether to make Chipotle employees read my complicated online order for half brown rice and half white rice, with extra romaine lettuce.