No Free Burritos At Chipotle For Dressing In Foil This Halloween

This year instead of a free burrito, showing up to Chipotle on All Hallow’s Eve wrapped in tin foil will only score you a discounted $2 burrito. “It cost us a fortune,” Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer told Advertising Age. “And it wasn’t doing a whole heck of a lot for me from a marketing perspective.” Expensive + ineffectual, seems a good reason to stop doing something.

Why Chipotle Ditched Ad Agencies [Advertising Age] (Thanks to R!)


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  1. eturowski says:

    I’ll take $2 off if it means the lines of the burrito “faithful” don’t wind across the parking lot anymore.

  2. Hoss says:

    Nothing to do w foil but I find the Chipotle experience way too rushed and confusing. No where does it list all available ingredients so it’s impossible to decide what you want before getting in line (unless you know the routine). I wrote to headquarters, and this is the response:

    “Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I apologize that our new menu boards do not advertise our taco options very well. Our tacos work just like our burritos, bowls, and salads. You have the option of soft or crunchy tacos and the components of your tacos can be assembled just as they would with our other menu options. You are welcome to put any and all of our ingredients on your tacos (with the exception of guacamole which is an additional charge for any non-vegetarian entrees). We certainly do not want you feel rushed, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. We want your ordering process to be as smooth and as enjoyable as possible.”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’ve never found it rushed or confusing…the ingredients are pretty self-explanatory. Corn looks like corn, tomatoes look like tomatoes. All the Chipotles I’ve been to are set up the same way, and the employees are more than willing to explain the spiciness of the salsas if you’re not sure. Not to mention their first questions are “Black or pinto beans? What kind of meat?” It’s not hard to answer questions.

      • Hoss says:

        I don’t know if I want black of pinto if I haven’t determined everything I want. That’s me

        • jesirose says:

          So just breeze past the counter when someone else is getting theirs made, check out the ingredients, get in the back of the line.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          What’s so hard about making decisions as they arise? If the question is “Black or pino beans?” you only have four real options: black, pinto, both, or neither. “What kind of meat?” The menu board lists every meat option available. After that, it’s as simple as looking at the ingredients and saying “I want tomato, corn, mild salsa, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream.”

          • RvLeshrac says:

            The Varsity figured this out a long time ago. If you don’t know what you want to order when you hit the counter, or are on a cellphone, you get sent straight to the back of the hour-long line.

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        Do the snozberries taste like snozberries?

    • human_shield says:

      I dunno, the ingredients are all right there behind the clear glass, so as soon as you get there you see what they have.

    • Amnesiac85 says:

      I don’t understand. Your ingredients are laid out right in front of you. You pick and choose what you want in your burrito. How is it more rushed than Subway or Quiznos or any sub place?

      • Hoss says:

        If a subshop menu board said “Subs, Rollups and Calzones” and that’s all, yes I’d be confused. Why not just print a damn menu and put in on the counter for us people that are planners and not reactors (word?) ?

    • psm321 says:

      Unlike other replies, I’ve experienced the same problem as you. Especially during rush times, it’s very hard to order if you’re not a regular very familiar with the options, especially since the employees tend to mumble their questions.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      Ask them for a fax in order sheet and then review that while you wait in line. There is a list of every ingredient, and you just check off what you would like in your burrito (or salad, or bowl, or whatever)

      Seriously, this is what we do when someone is going to run to Chipotle to pick up lunch for everyone.

      They also use these to help deaf customers.

    • lettucefactory says:

      I like the food at Chipotle, but I know what you’re saying. I don’t like the Chipotle “experience” either. It is hectic.

      They also have uncomfortable seating and it’s impossible to talk over all the ambient noise – I’m sure this is designed for quick turnover of tables, and it makes sense given how quickly they push people through the line, but it’s still not enjoyable for me.

    • Bye says:

      There’s an app for that.

    • guroth says:

      I can understand rushed, as they are usually pretty busy during lunch hours, but confusing? Do you get confused at Subway as well? The ordering process is just about as simple as it can get.

      They have ingredients, and you choose which ones you want, or don’t want, just like subway. You can plainly see all of the ingredients that they have, and they are in logical order.

      Select your “container” (tortilla, taco shell, plastic bowl) select your meat, select your secondary ingredients (rice, fajita mix, beans) select your tertiary ingredients (salsa, cheese, guac, lettuce) and then pay for it.

      They have a total of like 10 ingredients, you mix and match whatever you want. How is this confusing?

    • bigTrue says:

      Oh, great…you’re one of those ones. *snickers*

      My second job is at a soup counter/sandwich board style place. We have 12 soups, 6 sandwiches and 6 salads. The people who take forever to decide annoy the hell out of me and I just don’t get it. I say the same thing to my g/f who takes forever going into the same coney island that we always go to.

      For me, I walk up to the counter. I know I don’t like vegatable soups, seafood soups, usually want something with cheese and I like things thick and hearty. So, out of 12 soups, I’m down to maybe 4 on a good day. Out of those, I’m sure one has peas. That’s right out, I can’t stand em. Another is something I had last time. Down to two. I’ve literally had people try 5 soups, stand there, thinking, staring at the board like it’s going to suddenly yell at them the correct item, ask me for nutritional information (folks, it’s soup and we’re charging around 5 bucks for 12 ounces of it. It’s not healthy and it’s got enough salt to choke a horse. Lets be honest with ourselves Ms “How Many Points Is That.” Go across the street to the Whole Foods and buy a head of lettuce already.) and then order the same thing they make sure to tell me “Is what I always get!”. A process that should take 2-5 minutes at the most is now around 10.

      The worst are the people who take that long to decide, get it, then look up and say “Oh, maybe I’ll get a sandwich too!”. Then you get the ones who ask you what you like. Really? I like Kobe beef burgers and blue cheese, but we don’t have either so how is that going to help you? Or, the regulars who give you an annoyed look every time I mention that yes, we have a website and yes, it has the current soups updated every five minutes and yes, you can sign up with your email so that we inform you when that one not-so-regular soup you love is in stock. The tools are there to make your visit as easy as you want it, as long as you use them.

      It’s a meal at a casual dining place. And, as others have said, Chipotle is really a few menu items. If you are that indecisive, you can check out what you want online before you go and just have it written on a piece of paper. Food is really not that important unless you’re spending a lot of cash on it Casual Dining at the 6-10 dollar price point is all about the same, with different spices and possibly toppings. Ground beef or chicken or veggie? Spicy, continental or bland? Toppings? HFCS laden soda, diet chemical soda or water?

      Now, send me to a high end steak house or fish palace where the entree’s are 30 dollars + and I’m pairing a wine with the meal, yeah, I’ll order an appetizer and spend some time while it cooks deciding how I’m gonna drop half a pay check in one night for my anniversary with my g/f. If the two of us are paying less then 20 bucks, I’m not that worried about it.

      To each their own, but if you spend this much time on the little things, I am fearful to think how long you take on something actually important. The one good thing? You have to be the happiest person in the world because you take the time to make sure of it! That’s actually pretty cool. If you’re not the happiest person in the world after being this careful on decisions, you might need to look into treatment for OCD.

  3. prezuiwf says:

    I didn’t even know they did this in the past. But yeah, seems like it makes sense to stop if it’s not buying them any true brand capital. The $2 discount actually seems like a better idea because it gives people some incentive to come in but still forces them to spend money if they want a burrito.

  4. longdvsn says:

    It costs more than $2 to replace my underwear

  5. jessjj347 says:

    Have they also gotten rid of the “free burrito” stickers on the foil!?
    I haven’t seen them in some time…

  6. danmac says:

    In this scenario, only the foil companies win. And dare I say it, when compared to the free burrito, the $2 burrito is only a…foil.

  7. OBEYshiba says:

    i’ll be there. ~$4 off per burrito is worth it.

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Is anyone having problems getting more recent comments to show up? The front page count says there are 7 comments, but whenever I click on the story, only 3 come up.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      It’s been happening to me for a long time. It’s easy to notice on new stories where you can easily count the comments. It takes longer for the comments to show up on a story than it does to get added to the comment count. Not sure why.

  9. danmac says:

    Headline: $2 foil foils files of faithful foiled in foil.

  10. aloria says:

    I’d hate to see what my local Chipotle looks like on Halloween with this sort of giveaway. At a regular lunch time, the line is usually around the block anyway.

    • Michaela says:


      I actually had never heard about this place. I just had to google it now.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Seriously? Chipotle is a gift from heaven, carried in by kittens with wings. I love Chipotle. My usual order at Chipotle could qualify as a “desert island” choice, it’s just that delicious.

        • Michaela says:

          I just checked a map. It seems we really don’t have that many in the Southeast. Heck, I can’t even find one in Alabama!

          • Jezz1226 says:

            They’re fairly common in Florida, so maybe they are working there way over to Alabama soon

          • Mulva says:

            Try looking for Qdoba – similar set up, slightly more varied menu, plus they’ve got a coupon offer on their site. They started up a year or so later than Chipotle (same town, I believe – Denver?).

            • Michaela says:

              We used to have one of those, but they ended up closing.

              The closest thing we have in town is Moe’s. By looking at the Chipotle site, they seem to be quite similar.

              • Jedana says:

                Moe’s is the same concept, but the food is IMO not as yummy. Moe’s seems, well, underseasoned; I have to get extra cilantro and throw on some queso to make it good.

                /in all fairness, I managed a Chipotle for 3 years
                //addicted to the barbacoa
                ///or veggie tacos (rice, fajita veggies, b. beans, tomato/corn/green salsas, sour cream, cheese, lettuce)

              • babyruthless says:

                If you have a Willy’s in your town, they are the best chain giant burrito place. I SAID IT! BETTER THAN CHIPOTLE!

  11. damageinc says:

    If you think the tin foil giveaway attracted crowds, our Chipotle used to have a day where they gave away free burritos to students. Except they didn’t check IDs or really care who treid to get one, so you had everyone in the city (including the bums) trying to get one. The line usually wrapped around the entire shopping center it was located in, from open to close. Took at least ab hour of waiting.

    After the second year they stopped doing it. I wasn’t surprised.

    • RandomHookup says:

      They also do some other free burrito days, but I’ve noticed they no longer do it when they open a new restaurant.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Chipotle opened a new location in my area maybe two years ago (at least, it’s the only new location I was aware of) and I got a postcard in the mail offering a free burrito. I don’t know if it has a blanket policy to not do free burrito days anymore, but it seems that Chipotle still sends postcards. That way, it can control how many burritos it gives away.

        • RandomHookup says:

          They’ve opened new locations in Boston recently and didn’t do the “everybody line up and get a free burrito” deal that they’ve done in the past. They will blanket an area with coupons (they did it in my neighborhood last year and I paid close attention to my neighborhood’s recycling…in case they threw their coupon out). The restaurant I got mine for was not a new location.

  12. everclear75 says:

    Why eat at Chipotle when there is a Freebirds in the next shopping center?? Freebirds FTW!

  13. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Expensive + ineffectual, seems a good reason to stop doing something.

    Yes! Would someone explain this to the Stimulus and Obamacare chuckleheads?

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Ooh! Unrelated, non-contributing political comment! I’m only a few squares away from bingo now!

    • Doubts42 says:

      I make my own burritos at home out of tin foil wrapped in articles I didn’t read. Of course when i get sick I blame whatever political party was most recently in power.

    • Gulliver says:

      Other than the first part of Obamacare kicked in this week, so to deem it “ineffectual” is stupid at least. I am sure the CMO at Chipotle looked at sales AFTER, BEFORE and year over year to determine how effective the strategy. Of course republicans think doing nothing will work, which HAS PROVEN over and over again to be ineffectual.
      As for the stimulus, I will defer to the actual scoring system that the government uses, the CBO:
      Don;t let the facts get int he way of your stupidity though.

      • Quake 'n' Shake says:

        But by all means, let your lack of humor get in the way of interpreting my tongue-in-cheek comment correctly.
        I’ve noticed that a lot of consumerist commenters are not bright, so I guess you could say I’m just fitting in.

  14. RandomHookup says:

    Well, I guess now my tinfoil hat will only be useful for stopping the Feds from reading my thoughts.

  15. .b.e.x. says:

    It’s going to cost me $2 to foil myself.

  16. Minneapolis says:

    In related news; Christmas has been cancelled this year. :-/

  17. Sunflower1970 says:

    Heck. I go there so often, if you’re not sure of the choices, I can list ’em all here by memory (lol)

  18. Arcaeris says:

    Smart on them, I went in and didn’t know about the promotion but you had 500 teenagers (and younger) at the one near my house with a foil wristband raking in free burritos. I don’t think they were going to become regular customers.

  19. danisaccountant says:

    You read it rong. The $2 off is if you dress up as “processed food” — not if you show up wrapped in foil.

  20. sparc says:

    “Customers who dress up as a processed food will be rewarded with a $2 burrito, with revenue going to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution effort.”

    Chipotle is still essentially giving away the free burrito, by turning over the $2 to charity in the process.

    i.e. Chipotle is still losing money on this promo. Although less now that you lose all the people too cheap to donate even $2.

  21. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    His name is ‘Crumpacker’?

    Sounds like a non-PC slang for a gay loaf of bread.

    (Disclaimer: I am not carbophobic.)