- Chipotle restaurants routinely round up customer’s bills to a nickel
- Previously, did not warn customers at the register
- After public investigation, now they will only round down
PUBLISHED:17:33 EST, 29 August 2012| UPDATED:17:41 EST, 29 August 2012
Chipotle customers are up in arms since it was revealed that the Mexican fast food restaurant has been rounding up bills to the nearest nickel in high-volume locations like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Outraged, they demanded answers from the company as to why they are nicking pennies from their loyal customers and why the prevalent practice is not indicated anywhere near the registers.
Chipotle defended itself saying that the rounds up, or down, to be more efficient and speed up long lines and that it does not make any money off the practice.
Jayson Greenberg notified the Star Ledger about the strange pattern he’d been noticing on his receipts.
‘The receipts at the Chipotle in West Caldwell don’t add up when there are odd amounts involved,’ he told the paper.
He shared several receipts with the paper, showing how the company was adding ’rounding’ charges to his bill. On July 13, he purchased $32.93 worth of food, with $2.31 worth of tax, but somehow it added up to $35.25, rather than $35.24.
Another receipt showed a subtotal of $8.64 with a tax of $0.60, but the total was $9.25 rather than $9.24.
He said it wasn’t so much the pennies that bothered him, but the principle that the store was rounding up receipts, without telling their customers.
Mr Greenberg asked the manager of his local Chipotle what had caused the confusion and he got a lackluster response.
‘Oh, it’s a computer program. It is just rounding numbers. It takes a little from certain receipts and gives a little to others. What do you want? A few pennies?’ the manager told him.
After the paper inquired about the receipts, the restaurants started adding a ’rounding’ line to all the receipts, indicating the peculiar practice.
Chipotle defended the customer coin gouge, saying that after August 1, they would be up front about it.
‘It is just rounding numbers. It takes a little from certain receipts and gives a little to others. What do you want? A few pennies?’ Chipotle Manager
‘It’s something we do in some high volume markets, including New Jersey,’ said spokesman Chris Arnold.
‘The way it works is that prices auto-round to the nearest quarter and that’s indicated on the receipt. The idea is simply to limit the possible combinations of change on cash transactions to keep the lines moving quickly in high volume areas.’
Furthermore, Chipotle has said it will no longer round up, only down.
‘It was never our intention to have a policy that was confusing or misleading,’ Mr Arnold said