Chipotle - Racist?

Is the restaurant Chipotle racist? I have been to three different Chipotle resturants on a number of occasions. On every trip the people making the food and cleaning up are Hispanic, while the people working the register(s) are white. Is this the practice at all Chipotle resturants? Is this part of their policy? Is it racist for a restaurant to assign jobs by race?

I’ve not noticed that at the Chipotle I frequent (Pasadena, CA).

Yes, it would be racist (if not illegal) for a company to assign jobs on the basis of race. It would be in violation of Federal Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines I imagine.

Actually, that is a pattern that I have seen in many middle of the road restaurants, especially the ones with a Latin American theme. My impression, at least in Arizona and California, is that as time goes by, Hispanics are getting into the registers. In the Chipotle case, I would give them a few years to see if that pattern does not change.

Of course, it would be racist to assign jobs just by race, but I believe more research is needed before one screams “racist”.

Perhaps it has to do with their facility of the English Language. There are a few stores in the Twin Cities that use Hispanic cashiers, but they all speak English nearly fluently. I don’t think it’s a racist policy, just pragmatic. Chipotle is an “upscale” fast food joint, catering to soccer moms and yuppie types. These people have no time for someone who can’t speak their language. The stores arent being racist so much as pandering to the racism of their clientele.
It’s a delicate balance, and it does make me uncomfortable. I love the burritos, but something does seem wrong at Chipotle. So I tip well. That makes me feel better.

So wanting someone to understand your order is racist?

And by the way, at the Chipotle I have been to you order from the people preparing the food, not the cashier.

No. That isn’t racist. What is racist is not accepting that immigrant labor is neccesary to do a job that YOU, the ignorant yuppie or soccer mom trophy wife, would not be caught dead doing, and getting angry about it when you aren’t understood the first or second time.

Well, I don’t think it’s right either to call it racism, if the clientele just happens to be predominantly anglophone.


You know, a co-worker of mine made the same comment/observation about Chipoltes the last time we ate there… her observations were much the same, but also included the gems that she’s never seen 1) a woman on the register 2) anyone black or asian.

I pointed out I never see anyone black or white working at any Chinese restuarant I eat at, either. Isn’t it odd to see anyone outside a particular ethnic group prepping food at an athnic restaurant?

Are Chipoltes franchises or corporate owned? There’s less chance of racist policy if they’re franchises; moreso if this hiring pattern is coroprate policy. Any prolonging of this trend is de facto discrimination regardless.

At all the Chinese (Asian) restaurants I go to enough to know something about the people that work there, they are all family run and everyone there is related.

I believe they are franchises.

Hmmmm. Here in NYC it’s very common for a resturant of any ethnicity to have Latino busboys or kitchen staff, with native English speakers of any race as front of house staff. In smaller places the FoH are often members of the owner’s own family, of course, and the reason the kitchen ends up all Mexican or whatever is because somebody’s cousin tells their brother in Oaxaca that there’s a vacancy and the manager sees that people from that state make good workers, so the amigo viejo network goes into action.

Just a partial explanation, without going into the rights and wrongs of it.



Chipotle is owned by McDonalds. Doesn’t it taste better now? And I am amused that anyone thinks that they can tell who is hispanic or not by looking at them, yet think that the restaurant is racist. How ironic.

Well I prefer my Mexican food be cooked by real Mexicans.

And no that doesn’t make me a racist it just means I have good taste in food. :wink:
Also as far as the cashier thing goes; I’m all for the non-english speaking Americans working here in the States. However I can’t tell you how much it pisses me off when they (the management) put non-english speaking workers in an area where they are going to be talking to ALOT of ENGLISH SPEAKING ONLY customers!

And when I say I get pissed, I don’t mean at the actual person for not knowing english. (However I do believe they should at least try to learn english if they have the means) I mean I get pissed at the management for not knowing better.

Gee, both Chipotles I go to have had women on the register. And they have all races doing all jobs.

My observations of Chipotle:

Denver (where the chain began): Hispanics working food prep, Anglos or Hispanics fluent in English at the register.
Kansas City: Hispanics working food prep, Anglos at the register.
Cleveland: Hispanics working food prep, Anglos at the register.

I can say that EVERY TIME I’ve been at a Chipotle, the food line workers always – I repeat, ALWAYS without exception – screw up my order. I usually have a beef fajita burritowith no beans or rice. I emphasize NO beans and NO rice, and occasionally say it in Spanish to get my point across (no frijoles, no arroz). What happens? The woman working the food line ALWAYS begins to shovel up a big pile of rice to put into my burrito, before I say “No rice! No arroz!” again. Always. Of course, after that she begins to scoop up a big pile of beans. It’s not that they don’t speak English … it’s that they’re retarded.

I’ve visited other big burrito places, mostly local chains, and noticed that food prep workers are often Anglo or black. In Buffalo, a city devoid of restaurant chains with any hint of upscale pretensions, all the workers at big burrito places are Anglo.

Racist? I don’t know. Maybe Chipotle has a good word-of-mouth reputation among Hispanics, and the locals and other chains won’t hire Hispanics.

Lets say you were running a Mexican restaurant that prides itself on having reasonably authentic food. You are hiring a line cook. Would you choose 1. Someone who worked at a Denny’s for ten years and has good references. 2. Someone who has only a year of restaurant experience but has been making authentic Mexican food at home since he/she could remember, and has good references as well.

Later you were hiring a cashier. Would you hire 1. An middle aged immigrant who comes across as a very honest person, but speaks English with a heavy accent. 2. A twenty-one year old college student who speaks fluent English, and makes it clear he/she will leave as soon as he/she graduates in a year". What would you do?

And keep in mind I didn’t make race a part of this (there are white immigrants who speak broken English, and in parts of the southwest there are plenty of Anglos who were brought up cooking real Mexican food). But the people who fit in each category are probably far more likely to fit into one ethnic group or another - depending on the area.

Everyone who hires discriminates in some fashion. What is illegal and unethical is discrimination that is purely based on supposed race, ethnicity, gender, or disability - not discrimination based on relevant factors such as experience, language ability, or physical strength.

::comes into thread to find out how in the name of hell smoked chile peppers can be construed as racist::

::learns that “Chipotle” is the name of a restaurant chain::


Why not? I heard an anti-milk activist state that milk was rascist because a lot of asians are lactose intolerant. On the other hand I think it might have been the Daily Show…not the most reputable source of information I guess.