12 Ways You Might Be Ordering Wrong At Chipotle

Chipotle is a popular fast-food chain that offers a variety of options for those looking for hearty, healthy meals. Whether running in for a couple of tacos, picking up a burrito, or packing everything into a bowl — there's something for almost everyone at Chipotle.

However, ordering at Chipotle can be a daunting task. There are so many items that you could add to your dish and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Paralysis by analysis can set in and with a long line behind you waiting to get their meal, it's easy to make a mistake when ordering your food. This list of tips can quickly solve that problem, offering solutions for everything such as when to ask for more ingredients, breaking down the secret menu, and learning how to get more protein than usual.

Avoid these mistakes when ordering to get the most out of your visit and your dollars whenever you go to Chipotle.

1. Not ordering Chipotle when you want healthy fast food

When someone thinks of fast food, images of greasy burgers, salty french fries, milkshakes, and more immediately come to mind. Those items may be fan favorites when it comes to a quick meal, but they lack overall nutritional value.

"Chipotle is a comparatively healthier fast-food option due to the fresh ingredients they offer," said Valerie Agyeman, R.D., in a 2021 piece by Serena Coady of Glamour. She added, "Their menu is filled with a variety of meats, veggies, and greens, which is something you usually don't find at other fast-food chains."

That's where Chipotle comes into play. One of the first mistakes that some customers make happens even before they step foot in a location. Assuming that Chipotle is just as unhealthy as some of its competitors is a major mistake. There are multiple items and combinations on the menu that suffice as a healthy meal. Plus, depending on your fitness goals, there may be valid reasons to eat a big meal at a location like Chipotle before or after a workout. Eating Chipotle as a fast-food option should be based on moderation, but there are healthy opportunities at the restaurant to meet your needs.

2. Not using the Chipotle app

Technology continues to touch our lives in multiple ways. Whatever the task, there seems to be an app ready to add to your phone to make it that much easier. The same is true for ordering from Chipotle. The Chipotle app comes in handy when it is time to make an order. You can use the app to get a better idea of what's on the menu before you ever step in a restaurant — the benefits are there to be taken advantage of by all customers.

Available for both iPhone and Android, the Chipotle app makes your ordering experience easier and oftentimes faster. Do you have a favorite meal that you order every time? Pre-program that into the app to save yourself a few swipes. Like to save money? The app offers special deals for frequent users that rack up points every time. Do you need to avoid a long line at Chipotle? Ordering off the app allows you to walk in and pick up your order without having to wait. The benefits completely outweigh any issues that may arise and taking advantage of it will help make your experience at Chipotle go much smoother. Download it from the app store today.

3. Settling for half and half meat when you really want extra

Knowing how to finesse the protein conundrum at Chipotle is a big part of the process. There are so many options to choose from, which do you pick? What if you are really hungry and want more than one? Well, there's an answer for that and it's much simpler than you may think.

The first part of getting the right amount of meat added to your meal at Chipotle is simply knowing that you can ask for extra. When you make the request, the service line member will ask if you want half portions of two proteins, or an extra serving. It's a simple question, but it should set off your Spidey-senses to know exactly how to respond. Asking for half and half will give you both proteins, but the scoops will be much less than a full scoop of either. In an attempt to make sure you receive half of either protein, you may actually receive less than what you'd get with a regular scoop.

Asking for extra comes at an additional cost. Each type of protein comes with a different price point when asking for extra, but asking for that specifically will ensure that you get more meat in your meal than asking for half and half.

4. Skimping on more ingredients

Chipotle's menu features a long list of ingredients: brown rice, white rice, black beans, pinto beans, more vegetables, and cheese. So many options that can be added to your meal to give it the flare that you desire. But a big mistake that some individuals make when ordering at Chipotle is simply not knowing they can ask for everything on the list. You want rice added to your taco? Ask for it. You want queso added to your burrito? Ask for that, too. You do not have to limit yourself to the specifications of what is listed for each item in the menu.

If you can see it while standing in line, then you can add it to your meal or you can even get the ingredient on the side to take it and add at your own leisure. Chipotle gives you the space to make your own creation with the options placed in front of you. Don't make the mistake of not taking advantage of it.

5. Asking for more ingredients at the wrong time

So now that you know you can order more ingredients, it is also important to know when to make the request. Walking up to the server and telling them what you want in advance may seem like the right thing to do, but it's a mistake that will cause you to get less ingredients than you may desire.

For example, rice is one of the first items offered when putting together your meal. You have the option of getting both brown and white rice, but when you ask for the second is most important. Instead of telling the server that you'd like both, wait for them to scoop the first option, then tell them you want the second as well. Make it a point to ask for more ingredients after the initial scoop is completed. This also holds true for if you want a second helping of an item. Always wait for the server to finish the first scoop and place it in your item before asking for a second. This is the best bet to getting two full scoops of an ingredient, rather than partial scoops because they are aware that you want extra.

6. Not getting your burrito wrapped twice

This next one is a big mistake because there's a good chance we've all experienced it or know someone that has. You're in the mood for a burrito and the server goes about making you one with all the ingredients. Unfortunately, when they begin to wrap the meal, it suddenly splits and everything spills out onto the wrapping paper. That moment of heartbreak is well known to many, but there's a trick to avoid it and it's quite simple to employ. Just ask the server to wrap your burrito twice.

The tortillas that are used for burritos and soft tacos are free, so there's no extra charge for asking them to wrap everything two times. This gives you an extra layer for your meal and keeps all the ingredients in place. The same could be said for soft tacos if you've experienced the tragedy of those splitting before you can even take a bite. Getting your item wrapped twice is the way to go to make sure you get to experience all the goodness before it explodes during production.

7. Not asking for both types of beans

Beans are one of the staple items at Chipotle. Like rice, it is a foundation that helps make sure a customer is fully satisfied with the meal. Every customer has their own preference when choosing between black and brown beans, but there's a hidden third option that many may not know about — selecting both.

The secret to getting both black and brown beans with your meal lies within the tips mentioned above. Do not ask for both at the start of your order. Instead, select one and wait for the server to scoop the beans into your meal. Then, ask them for the other option. Now, you'll get to enjoy both black and brown beans within your bowl, burrito, taco, and more. This is a great tip for those looking to build a hearty meal to sustain them throughout the day, someone looking for a post-workout meal, or an individual who does not want to eat meat, but still wants to enjoy Chipotle.

8. Not ordering a bowl and getting your tortillas on the side

This may be the best entry on this entire list. As mentioned, tortillas are free of charge, so you can ask to have them added as a side option regardless of what you order. But, ordering a bowl and stacking it with all your favorite ingredients, then getting the tortillas on the side allows you to make your very own burritos or tacos.

Another aspect of this tip that is so important is by selecting a bowl and getting your tortillas on the side, you are now in control of portions. Instead of being worried about whether the contents will spill out of a taco or burst through the burrito, you can build them to your own liking with the ingredients in the bowl. And if you're a meal prepper, using the bowl to build multiple meals allows you to get a few options out of your purchase. So, whenever you order a bowl, don't forget to get some tortillas on the side to mix up your meal options.

9. Not ordering from Chipotle's adult beverage menu

This solution is specifically for the 21 and older crowd. Unbeknownst to many, Chipotle can be a great place to grab a drink. The location offers a number of domestic and imported bottled beers, offering something for those looking for familiar beverages. Everything from Coors and Bud Light to Modelo are available and ready to enjoy at the end of a long day, or during your lunch break.

Chipotle also has a great margarita, with some locations even having specialty versions of the drink. The only issue is that these drinks can be a bit pricey, especially when compared to options available at a standard happy hour. Still, it's a nice surprise to find out that Chipotle offers adult beverages for those who may want to partake. If you can't get to your favorite spot for Taco Tuesdays, then Chipotle stands out as a viable substitute. And as always, "drink responsibly."

10. Not ordering from the secret menu

Chipotle has a menu that fans have come to love. With a variety of offerings, there's something for everyone. But what happens when a customer comes in with a taste for something different? That is when this secret comes into play: Chipotle also boasts a secret menu filled with items that aren't available for those not in the know.

Chipotle's secret menu is made up of unconventional combinations of the ingredients found on the regular menu. Take the quesarito, for example. This is a burrito that is wrapped in a quesadilla. You want nachos with all the toppings? Simply ask for that. Then there is the double-decker taco which might put any double-stacked burger to shame. Chipotle's secret menu features items that sound like concoctions of the imagination, but they can hit the spot just like everything else on the list. Uncover the hidden gems and dive in.

11. Not using Chipotle coupons, gift cards, and promotions

Everyone wants to avoid the mistake of not saving money when the opportunity presents itself. Well, Chipotle is another location where you can do just that. 

This company frequently offers promotions and chances to get free and discounted food. Several promotions are available for users of the Chipotle app and frequent customers open up chances to get free meals. If you're someone that pops into Chipotle frequently, take advantage of the promotions the company offers to save yourself money. Gift cards are also another way to save and come in handy as an easy gift for office colleagues. Even delivery apps offer promotions that can help save money on an order from Chipotle. Do yourself a favor: Download the Chipotle app, take advantage of the various promotions, and save money. In fact, take that extra money and spend it on more Chipotle food and drinks.

12. Not timing your visit wisely

Just like many other restaurants, Chipotle can get crowded. Some locations experience lines that go beyond their doors and back to the sidewalk. Getting caught in or dismayed by those long lines is a big mistake that can make you miss out on the whole meal.

There are benefits of going during those peak hours, however. These are the times in which the restaurant is prepared for their rush and have prepared fresh ingredients. If that is important to you, going during these times of day to get the freshest of meals may be worth the time you'd have to wait.

As with any other popular location, timing is everything. Don't make a mistake of going during peak times like lunch or early evening. Those are busy times for many fast-food locations and Chipotle isn't any different. Instead, go before the evening rush and reference a list such as this one to get the most out of your money. Better yet, save even more time and take advantage of the Chipotle app to pick up your order to go.

Time your trip to Chipotle to get the most out of your visit. There's too much goodness to miss out on.