Chipotle Sued Over Allegedly Misleading Calorie Counts

By Mike Pomranz |
Chipotle Chorizo

© Chipotle Mexican Grill

Remember when Chipotle could catch a break? Yeah, neither can I. But at least in burrito chain’s latest legal headache no one has gotten sick – except maybe from overeating. A proposed class action lawsuit filed against Chipotle this week claims that the restaurant misled consumers by understating the number of calories in its burritos. Sounds like someone’s diet didn’t go as well as planned.

At the crux of the complaint, which three plaintiffs brought against Chipotle in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, is the Mexican restaurant’s newest item: its chorizo burritos. All three men say they ate a chorizo burrito believing that this menu item was just 300 calories – the number they say is listed on Chipotle’s menu board. However, as the complaint explains of one of the plaintiff’s experiences, he “felt excessively full and realized that the burrito couldn’t have been just 300 calories.” The other two gentlemen tell similarly sad tales of unexpected overindulgence.

Now, anyone who cares enough to look at the calorie counts on a menu should be smart enough to know that no normal-sized burrito on Earth contains just 300 calories. However, as Grub Street points out, Chipotle isn’t necessarily off the hook here: Plenty of photos posted online show that, indeed, the restaurant’s signage for the “featured item” of a “chorizo burrito” clearly states “300 Calories” at the bottom.

In fact, on November 8, someone at Chipotle’s Twitter account even apologized “for the confusion.” “The 300 calories is for the chorizo,” @ChipotleTweets stated. “We'll make things more clear next time,” the tweet includes.

So as silly as the lawsuit may seem, apparently these specific signs are sparking a bit of confusion among customers – even if it’s pretty obvious what the sign is trying to imply. What remains to be seen, however, is whether that admitted confusion would be enough to give this class action lawsuit legs in court. The suit is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction on any misleading calorie count info. It’s also hoping to cover anyone who ate at Chipotle over the past four years.

Chipotle must be wondering, How much more free guac can we give you people to leave us alone?!

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