6 Chipotle Hacks for Getting FREE Chipotle

Smile and greet the staff

Chipotle workers, like everyone else in the world, go through their day jobs on autopilot.  “Bowl or Burrito?”  “For here or to go?” “You know guac costs $2.25 extra?”

If you don’t snap them out of assembly line mode, you’re going to get short-changed.  So when it’s your turn to order, pause for a brief second, look them in the eye confidently, ask them how they are doing, and WAIT until they respond before moving on.  HOLD THAT LINE.  You will literally watch this person wake up out of a coma.  And now they are primed to make the best bowl ever.  Speaking of which . . .

Get a bowl

I’m no mathematician, but you can squeeze roughly 12.5x the amount of food into a bowl as you can one of those tortillas.  If you need a tortilla, ask for one on the side.

Also, if you give a damn about the nutritional value of your burrito, nix the tortilla entirely.  You can check out Chipotle’s very own nutrition calculator or my article on eating healthy at Chipotle for more info.

No rice, extra beans

Variants of this work with just about all non-meat ingredients. Just say, “Instead of X, can I get extra Y?”

Calling out that you are giving up one thing (in this case, the rice) makes it way more likely that you will be rewarded with a massive portion of whatever it is that you really want.

FREE double meat

The best way is by befriending your Chipotle staff.  If you’re like me, your an addict and you eat there daily or close to it.  Which means you’ll have plenty of time to get to know them.  So look each of them in the eye and ask how they are. Get their names.  Remember these and greet them when you return, asking them how their weekend was or what they have planned when they get off work.

At the register, you’ll sometimes find your double meat is a single, guac is free, or the entire bowl is comped.  If this happens, THANK THEM PROFUSELY!  When you make people feel good about helping you, they’re more likely to help in the future.

Never say the word “double” or “extra”

Double” and “extra” are code for “charge me more.”  We want none of that.  Instead, ask for “lots of meat.”

If pressed, just smile and say “Single meat.  Just lots of it!”  You should at least get a half scoop more at no extra charge.

Buy the gift cards

A few times a year, around graduation, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, [insert random holiday], Chipotle will offer $30 gift cards.  The cool thing is that with each $30 gift card, you get a free burrito.

So assuming your burritos cost $7.50 each, you’re basically getting 5 burritos for the price of 4, saving $1.50 per burrito.  20% ain’t nothing to scoff at!

PLUS, if you’re smart, you’ll load up on double, double meat and guac when using your free bowl.  So now you’re getting a $11 bowl totally free.

UPDATE: The best Chipotle hack yet – all sides

This is too good to be true . . .

This is the mackdaddy of all Chipotle hacks.  You can order just sides of meat and guac.  This will cost you $2.25 a side.  So you can get chicken, steak, and guac in New York City all for just $7.75 (and cheaper in other parts of the country)!

But it gets better.  Because this is such a rare ask, most servers tend to overscoop on the meat.  The bowl just feels so light without the rice and beans!  That means even more meat, muahahahaha.  It is my new go-to and the BEST way to eat cheap, fast, and healthy (especially if you’re a Paleo guy, like me).

And if you must have salsa, get it in cups on the side.  I’ve never been charged 🙂

Any hacks I missed?  Feel free to post in the comments below.

LASTLY, to Steve Ells and all Chipotle management/workers who may read this:
Please, please, please, do not start going super cost-saving, stingy on the portions!!  Your generosity is why people like me go twice a day everyday and are even-f&%^ing-gelical about promoting your restaurant.

Well I spoke too soon.  Chipotle cracked down on their workers, training them to give 4oz scoops like their lives depend on it.  This makes the personal relationship so much more important if you’e going to get a sizable meal.  You can also migrate to the other fast gourmet restaurants that have cropped up and are not so rigid with portion sizes (I have been a big fan of Cafe Rio lately – check it out if there is one in your area!)

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51 thoughts on “6 Chipotle Hacks for Getting FREE Chipotle

  1. Ask for the guac for your bowl/burrito on the side so you can use it for your chips! Same goes for salsa too, I suppose, but guac tastes better. Obviously.

    1. i work for chipotle and as good as that sounds thats why they serve clear water cups at my restaurant so they can see whos trying to get over

  2. you can ask for as much rice beans and salsas as you want, they CANNOT charge you extra unless you ask for more meat or guac

    1. Yes we can, we’re supposed to actually. When you over do it on the sides you can and will be charged look at your receipt next time.

  3. As a fresh employee I can verify that I do not throw on a “ton of meat” when someone is “disappointed”. You’re expected to put 4 ounces of meat on the burrito, and that’s usually a full scoop plus two or 3 extra little nuggets of meat. It’s my job to make sure the company makes money and the costumers are happy, not to give you an extra scoop because of puppy eyes.
    Every employee I know tries to be generous with the portion, so when you ask for “a little more meat” you’re really asking for a shit ton of meat compared to what we are supposed to give you. Typically an ounce to an ounce and a half more. If an employee skimps you on meat, then feel free to say “I don’t think that’s 4 ounces” or “Is that a full serving?”. Sometimes we’re in a rush and may scoop a little less on accident, but if you get a helpful and courtesy serving don’t be an asshole and ask for more.
    The CEO might want to give you as little meat as possible but most employees put their shoes on the same way you do and want extra meat for free as well.

    Feel free to ask for more rice, more salsa and more beans. We love slopping those things into the bowls and burritos and can give it to you free of charge.

  4. My co-work kept gushing about how big the burrito is and how delicious so I went there expecting to eat half and take home half. It was so delicious, I ending up being a pig and ate the whole burrito. This is shocking because I am a gym fanatic, eat 6 small meals a day, and mainly rice and veggie, and little meat. But I woke up the next moring thinking, damn I am still hungry, next time I need two burrito just in case I am still not satisfied. Did I hear anyone at my work saying, PIG! 🙂

  5. I’ve heard about this “only get sides” thing. I didn’t know if it was supposed to have a name or not. Now that i know how to do it, I will be ordering it!

    Bless you!

  6. Vegetation here, and every time I ask for extra salsas and beans, they communicate down the line that my burrito bowl is “Loaded”. Am I getting charged more for this? I’ve only ever ordered it this way so I have nothing to compare it to.

      1. Haha, but I liked the autocorrect version so much more! Sentient plants eating their own. The stuff of legends 🙂

        You won’t get charged anymore for more of anything except meat and guac. And I’ve never seen a double guac charge, so you’re only getting hit for that once (not at all actually, since it’s included in the veggie bowl).

  7. You guys are brilliant. This is the basic recipe that causes most restaraunts to fail. It is called theft. Why not while talking extra loud reach into the old lady’s purse next to you and lift a $20? She must be loaded. Once management figures out that they are making 8-10% less for every 1,000 burritos sold they know what is going on. They can either retrain the staff or fire some, if not all and start over. So in essence your hack, just got some person fired, for what? An extra once or so of meat.

    Using deceit and deception to get “free” stuff is grifting and really speaks to your lack of character. It may work for you, but in the end it costs people, jobs, their business, and only results in higher prices for everyone.

    Yeah, you guys are brilliant.

    1. Rob, every piece of advice involves smiling, being kind, and ASKING for more of what you want. No one is obligated to give anything and I’m certainly not jacking up the register if they don’t.

      Also, because the Chipotle employees treat me so well, I am intensely loyal. I go there 2-3 times per day. I’m dropping at least $150/week plus bringing friends. Trust me, they WISH every customer was like me, getting big scoops and spending their entire food budget there.

      1. That’s you, though. Not everyone will be a solid patron, after all you’re putting the information out there for all. And the guy is right, it may not be measured at the counter, but a decrease in profit will definitely be measured overall. When that happens, the cost is ALWAYS shifted onto employees and consumers. Imagine the CFO taking a paycut for your extra chicken! That being said, it is not stealing. Whoever said to refill water with soda is stealing. But publicizing this does have its consequences.

      2. You eat chipotle 3 times per day? What does your hospital bill look like??? You spend 900$ a month on chipotle? I could live your lifestyle or keep my apartment lol.

    2. You’re obviously outsmarting the big corporate owners who never thought about their business plan. Bravo Rob, you’re going to make it far.

    3. This is such a sad comment, it shows how consumer and product driven our soulless society has become. Here are a group of mostly loyal patrons talking about ways to get a little extra food and have a positive interaction and all this brainwashed fool can talk about is some massively successful corporations lost profits. Trust me, I’m far from a socialist lol, but this comment to me is just a glaring example of what is wrong with the way we interact in 2014. Also, as Charlie pointed out, these kinds of practices build customer loyalty and a sense of community as stupid as that may sound. The very reason why I ALSO go to Chipotle on average 4x per week, when there are plenty of other similar options in the area I’m in (an urban area with seemingly infinite healthy options) is bc not only do I love the staff who know me by name & order (despite it being one of the busiest Chipotles on the east coast) but they always give me a little extra free of charge. If you want to think of this purely in $ though, I don’t have to be an MBA to tell you that the 8-10% more given as you cited is something even any small business owner, never mind one as large as Chipotle that surely gets their supplies at cut-rate prices, is worth building customer loyalty and repeat visits in the era of too many options. I know about a half dozen people who frequent Chipotle 4-5x a week for this same reason as well.

      Also Rob, if you seriously think the people behind the counter at Chipotle are mindless rubes who will be haplessly duped by deceptively friendly customers you’re more naive than your comments makes you seem, they know what they’re doing as well building loyalty. If you’ve ever drank at a local bar and experienced buy-backs or frequented a local eatery regularly, you’d know that these business practices work and probably date back to when the restaurant was invented. Most of all though, if everyone is benefiting and building a rapport, maybe even a small sense of community, who cares if a few cents are lost here and there (even though they’re not in the larger scheme)?! Last time I checked the Chipotle corporation was raking in major profits. Why don’t you try thinking like a human being instead of a calculator, a$s hole. The only one with “lack of character” here is the douche who frowns upon friendly interactions if they cut into the all holy profit margin.

    4. “FREE” — Nothing is free, you are paying for it. An offer is being made and you are negotiating the deal. What causes a food business to go out of business is serving Escherichia coli or skimping on the quality and quantity of the product. If Chipotle desires to be honest, then they need to publish in open view the quantity or serving size of each topping for your purchase. It’s called transparency. I don’t see Chipotle being transparent.

  8. DO NOT ask for a water cup and fill it with soda… that IS stealing… Also the getting the double meat and trying to distract the employees to get them to forget to pass it along I would also consider stealing. The other things are more based on the fact they they don’t use exact measurements so are just trying to keep you more on the positive side of average scoop.

  9. Wow, love how a lot of suggestions on here advocate deceit and stealing. Way to go, Americans!

    1. Jesus, it’s sickening the amount of people on here brainwashed into calling people out filling up a cup with soda instead of water at a corporation that made over $3 Billion in PROFITS (not gross) in 2013 alone, after around $2.5 in 2012 and more expected in 2014.
      This is the reason why our income gap is going to keep climbing and the middle class will keep dissipating. These people have you convinced that the corporate machine is the victim when some guy who makes $35k a year takes a fountain Coke instead of seltzer or gets a few more pieces of chicken lol.
      I worked as a waiter/bartender/restaurant manager for almost 10 years from high school all the way into med school and I bet most of you don’t even know a fountain Coke that you’re charged $2-3 for costs a company like Chipotle about 5 cents, no exaggeration, they just buy the syrup boxes and mix it with the machine. That chicken? Bought in bulk, extra meat probably costs around 10-15 cents.
      This isn’t a Mom & Pop operation, I would never advocate these practices at one of those (although in my experience those establishments are 10x more likely to hook you up for being loyal w/o asking, although Chipotle is an exception, they’re good at that too) but if you can’t see the different between a local restaurant that charges $2 for a Coke they pay 75cents for and an international conglomerate that will rake in close to $10 Billion in PROFIT between 2012-2014 that charges $2.50 for a 3-5 cent cost, then you’re already a lost cause. It’s genuinely heart-breaking though to see all of these comments defending poor little Chipotle against the big bad customer, really.

      1. It’s capitalism. And it’s stealing. Whether anyone likes it or not, CHIPOTLE purchased the soda and if someone does not buy it from them, then that is not Chipotle’s fault. If you want a soda and the price at Chipotle doesn’t work for you, you can a) go somewhere else and get a soda, b) find the money. the end.

      2. If you ask for a water cup and you intentionally put soda in it and drink it you are a criminal. Regardless of what their profit is or is not, you are a criminal. Drink water, you don’t need the soda, it isn’t good for you anyways. Have respect for yourself.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with stealing as long as you don’t cross the stealing line.

  10. One mid-range hack I’ve found is to ask for half chicken and half meat and then more often than not they will give you more than a half serving on both counts.

  11. I like to order the vegetarian bowl and ask for the guacamole on the side. Then I get a bag of chips and I have a bowl *and* chips and guac.

    1. can confirm this is the single most consistent and effective hack on this whole site. you usually wind up with 1.5 x the meat. No this is not stealing, lol no one is getting fired. yes i am friendly and you people taht are calling this stealing make me sick.

  12. Why should I have to resort to social engineering just to get my food (that I’m paying a pretty penny for)? Chipotle is like a high school cafeteria line. Why do I have to speak to 4 people to get rice beans and meat? And exactly how many barristas does it take to make a burrito anyway?

    1. Then use your ugly pennies and it won’t be a big deal. Lol at social engineering, just bc you throw a fancy name on it doesn’t change the fact that it’s just old school human interaction, something that’s become a rare commodity in the 21st century.

  13. I always get a bowl with everything after the double meat. Salsa, a little bit of hot, cheese, corn,sour cream gauc, and lettuce(that’s the key). Because the cashier is in a rush, they usually ask what meat you got instead of poking around under the letuce only to discover the gauc. 9/10 times I score free double meat and guac when Ira busy and I load the top with lettuce:D

  14. I work for Chipotle, and I wish you all would understand that, just like every other company out there, the crew have no say in how much we are allotted when giving portions. As someone on here has previously said 4 ounces for all portions regardless of what you would like to put it in. My store in particular has a steady stream of baseball players that come in. They love to empty out my rice bin(we have two sizes to them). When they see the bottom of that bin they feel satisfied and in no other way will they be if they don’t see the bottom. Always triple meat and tons of salsa and cheese. All for a fair price for about 54 ounces of food. All I say is try and go to any other restaurant and get that much food for the same price day in and day out.
    The staff on the other hand are always there to please you if you ever have the misfortune of waiting on food I can guarantee they will offer you a free drink pay for your meal or give you a voucher for another free meal. If there is any problem at all with any of the food they are more then willing to remake it give you your money back or put your name on a list for you to come back again and get free food or a voucher for free food. Chipotle employees have been caught doing the wave on the line waiting for customers singing none stop laughing and genuinely having fun while they are working. Which changes the entire atmosphere of the store as a hole when one employee is not in such a great mood the vibe of the store can be shifted across the board. They get on their hands and knees every day and night to make sure that you are eating in one of the cleanest restaurants you have ever eaten in. It is very common for a health inspector to come back quiet often to eat as a normal person. Which has to be rare that they go back to most places they inspect. We have had employees from top notch restaurants come work for us and make it a day because of how much we care, clean, and love our jobs.

    1. Totally agree. Everyone I’ve ever interacted with at Chipotle has been a gem. Thanks for the inside scoop. No pleaaaaase convince corporate to open up shop in Rio 🙂

    2. You’re 100% right about their customer service, it’s seriously top-notch. Of course they’re (the corp office) not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts lol so let’s not confuse that, although I’m sure many of the store-level employees are. It’s a business decision to have such great customer service and a very good one at that. I had undercooked chicken in a burrito bowl, and since I’m a loyal customer, they gave me a voucher for two free burritos, two free chips/guac, and two free drinks. Of course they know in the long-run that they’ll make this $ back from me and then some, by building loyalty, but I don’t care, I think besides being smart it’s one of the rare occasions where everyone involved profits and is happy, and that is what I like about Chipotle.

  15. Charlie, when your blog gets so much traffic that this post actually gets popular enough to put a dent in Chipotle’s profit margin, we’ll be flying your Chipotle meals, staff and all, down to Rio in your own private jet anyway. 😉

    1. Haha, I accept your offer of Chipotle and a private jet. Though, if I had to choose between the two I’d take the Chipotle hands down!

  16. Asking for half and half (e.g. half steak and half chicken), in my experience, means you end up receiving .75 servings of steak and .75 servings of chicken, so that’s essentially half a serving of meat for free. I’ve also noticed that when I ask for a quesorrito, it ends up being a bit larger than a regular burrito, for the same price of course. And a lot tastier.

  17. Somthing that works well for me on a REGULAR basis is having them make the bowl with the meat in a separate container (make sure they don’t put it in a plastic cup). It was origionally so I could portion my meat-to-side ratios better (the meat was so far doen the bottom). I’m easily getting a double bowl for the price of a single. And always ask for the burrito on the side if you need one. Its has to be double the food overall. 🙂

  18. Working at chipotle for about a year now I’ve been threw the people trying to get more meat and yes its a 4 oz portion. … I’ve seen the “friendly people just trying to get more food” but all these things trying to get more food is crazy and frustrating ….I love love love my job and the costumers that come threw but if you constantly do it ..we Notice .. now a days if you give us trouble about the meat we have to call a manager … we don’t just let you get as much as you want ..you can get plenty of everything else except guac. And even if you do get guac .and want a little more I’d give it to you cause you pay 1.95 for it .. and if you pay for extra meat I’d have no issue giving you more. ..just be nicer to the crew at chipotle … we have to tend to your special needs … and while your holding up the line our managers pull us aside and ask us why we arnt moving fast enough .. we love costumers and we want you to have a good experience with us .. but don’t try to screw us over ……work a day there and then see how you feel behind the glass … When your out of food and YOU ONLY HAVE 1 COOK and people are waiting for food… chipotle is a great company who makes fresh food and keeps the workers happy……bus as a consumer … don’t makes our jobs hard …

  19. At least this article suggests people be nice and courteous… I have worked for the company for two years and yes, I do understand the prices are higher than normal. Personally, I do have moments when I feel bad about the portion of meat we are instructed to give but what most people don’t understand is that we are being watched constantly by our managers and other employees to make sure we are giving the right amount and when you are caught giving more than you are supposed to, you are given a talk on how you are being a low performer by not knowing how to portion correctly. So, it’s a downer when a customer makes you feel like shit for being “stingy” with the food. Many times we are given dirty looks, yelled at, and insulted under their breathes for being rude and giving them more food and apologizing. Look, I get it. Sometimes it doesn’t look like enough meat but that’s how we were trained. We are just trying to do our jobs. After all, we wouldn’t deal with mean people if we didn’t need it.

  20. Three years ago, George Clooney opened up a tab at Chipotle and forgot to close it out. If you say, “This one’s on Clooney,” they add it to his tab (now somewhere around $3 million), and you eat free. That’s right: FREE.

  21. George Clooney is NOT paying for anything. I had some couple tell me that at the register the other day and that is just absurd. My manager had no idea was they were talking about and the only person paying for the tab is YOU. being friendly doesn’t get you more meat or guac on the house. We consider those as the stingy people and if you have a fair enough portion well charge you for extra meat, simple as that.
    You can’t afford soda? Then why are you at chipotle in the first place?
    They comp/don’t charge you for certain things when we see a familiar face, someone tells us it’s their first time there, or even just to brighten up someone’s day. The crew doesn’t have nametags, but if you go often someone’s got to break the ice, right?

  22. I work at chipotle, on the line and none of this bs works on us. We can spot when someone is trying to cheat us out of more food. Sides actually cost money. And we learn how to make 4 oz of rice meat beans etc look like 10 oz. So all of this is mind over matter. Don’t listen to this guy.

    1. also, someone lost their job last month at our location specifically for over portioning because she was being pressured and yelled at by customers saying they need more, they need more. It is really frustrating to see something like this. Some stores don’t give their employees raises because they should have bigger margins, but because over portioning they can’t and it frustrates employees and it effects customer experience. So next time you go to chipotle think about that.

  23. I went to Chipotle tonight was really nice to everybody only ask for extras on the things you’re supposed to and when I got to the register they said the meal was on them tonight blew my mind I was so happy I thank them after I offered to pay again and thank them again can’t wait to go back I love that place

  24. I went yesterday and got my entire meal for free! They said thanks for coming in today we appreciate people like you! It was such an honor! SOME FAITH LEFT IN HUMANITY.

  25. I really wish people would think before they eat at Chipolte. People need to understand that so much is being done to create better food which is why prices are high. This company is constantly making changes to find the most effective way to do anything/everything. Most recent and noticeable changes were the red lids we now use to cut down on the use of plastic wrap and the preservative free tortillas!
    We are really strict on portioning. Not only because we lose money from over portioning but because we cook to order. We actually calculate how many pounds of chicken we should be going through each hour based on the last months sales!!
    I very much agree with being friendly though. My crew members light up when a kind soul comes through and takes a minute to acknowledge they are too a human being.
    No guarantee it will get you anything free but why not try it. I will occasionally comp a meal if someone really brightens my crews shift.

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