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I ordered the same thing in person and online at Chipotle and found no significant difference in size despite some customers’ claims

ChipotleChipotle

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  • Chipotle customers frequently accuse the chain of making mobile orders smaller than those bought in-person.
  • I tested this claim by placing the same order through the app and in line at a local restaurant.
  • I found that mobile orders are about the same, or even larger than other orders in one case.
People have been complaining about the size of their burritos seemingly as long as Chipotle has been popular.Chipotle Burrito

Hollis Johnson

NFL player JJ Watt reignited the conversation in December by tweeting a photo of his order, saying “Burritos have been getting smaller…”.

—JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 11, 2022

 

Many of the unhappy customers claim that their orders are smaller when they order online, and don’t get to watch the employee assemble their burrito or bowl.Chipotle Mobile Order 6

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Source: Insider

I decided to put this theory to the test by making my own mobile order.Chipotle mobile order vs in-store order

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I then went inside and ordered the exact same burrito and bowl in person, from the same Chipotle location.Chipotle mobile order vs in-store order

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

To be thorough, I ordered two of the same barbacoa bowl, and two of the same chicken burrito with double meat.Chipotle bowls side by side

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The burritos each had double chicken, white rice, black beans, medium salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce, which cost $8.45 apiece.Chipotle mobile order burrito in foil

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

They looked about the same size to me.Chipotle burrito in foil

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

For a more impartial measurement, I broke out my food scale.Chipotle burrito on scale

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The in-store order was slightly heavier, but only by five grams.Chipotle burrito on scale

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

For perspective, that’s a difference in heft of about two pennies.penny stock

jodiecoston/Getty Images

Source: The Measure of Things

I also compared the two bowls, which had barbacoa, white rice, fajita, black beans, mild salsa, sour cream, and lettuce.Chipotle bowls side by side

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

To my eye, the in-person bowl seemed slightly more filled, but I once again wanted to use a more accurate measurement.Chipotle bowl

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The mobile order bowl came out to 810 grams.Chipotle bowl on scale

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The in-person order was actually 763 grams, a difference of nearly 50 grams.Chipotle bowl on scale

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

That’s equivalent to about one-half of a stick of butter.Butter

Kellis/Shutterstock

Source: Measuring stuff

The mobile order looked smaller at first glance, but it ended up containing more meat and rice, while the other bowl was heavier on lettuce and vegetables.Chipotle bowl

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Based on my experiment, I feel confident that there is no internal Chipotle conspiricy to make mobile orders smaller.Chipotle

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Customers shifted to online ordering during the pandemic, allowing Chipotle to be able to gather more precise data about ingredient costs and customer orders.Chipotle portions

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

This led to workers being “more consistent on portioning,” and eliminating potential variations between orders, CFO Jack Hartung said in a 2021 earnings call.Chipotle portions

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Source: Insider

Chipotle says customers don’t receive smaller portions for ordering online. “Guests of Chipotle have the opportunity to completely customize their meal in restaurants by vocalizing their desired portions, or digitally selecting extra, light, normal or on the side when choosing from the list of real ingredients,” Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Laurie Schalow told Insider in 2021.Chipotle Kitchen

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

In other words, workers might have given you extra portions from time to time pre-2020, but Chipotle has cracked down on consistency across the board.Chipotle

Hollis Johnson

I have no plans to stop mobile ordering at Chipotle because I always felt like I got the same amount of food but can skip waiting in line — and now I have the experience to prove it.A Chipotle pick-up station.A Chipotle pick-up station.

Anna Keeve

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider