Wrapping your burrito bowl with the free tortilla has long been considered a hack to get more bang for your buck.
Advertisement

By the very nature of the way they serve food—with customers selecting ingredients assembly line-style—Chipotle Mexican Grill is ready to be “hacked” however diners choose. Usually, Chipotle embraces this high level of customization: Earlier this year, the burrito chain even shared “official” secret menu hacks on its TikTok account. But sometimes, intrepid menu hackers can also exploit the system and eke out extra value for their money. Now, at least one of those food loopholes is getting closed: Chipotle has started charging 25 cents for an extra tortilla.

Chipotle Becomes First Non-GMO US Restaurant Chain
Credit: Joe Raedle / Staff/Getty Images

The burrito bowl has long been a bastion for people who like to eat burritos with a fork. Of course, sometimes you still want your carbs, and a burrito bowl is intended to be the same as a burrito only in bowl form, so Chipotle has previously provided the tortilla on the side at no additional charge. However, many people believe that Chipotle’s burrito bowls contain more of each individual ingredient than an actual wrapped burrito—back in 2015, the figure was pegged at 15 percent more—and so some customers would just order a bowl, grab the free tortilla, and wrap their burritos themselves.

Well, you can still wrap your own burrito, but you’ll be paying Chipotle an extra 25 cents for your efforts. The new charge has been around since at least Monday, according to Business Insider, and the change was reportedly announced internally last week. Of course, the “hack” may still have some value, though now you’d have to take on some more complex math to find out. We’ve reached out to Chipotle for additional comment, but have yet to hear back.

Speaking of math, Business Insider suggests the policy adjustment may be tied to how much additional data Chipotle has been able to gather recently as the pandemic has caused even more customers to place orders digitally instead of in person. “Our portion sizes are much more consistent,” Jack Hartung, Chipotle’s chief financial officer, was quoted as saying, “because there's not somebody pointing at every single pan.”

It makes sense: When you're ordering on an app, there's no way to flirt for extra guac.