Why Chipotle's Delivery Tip Policy Has Twitter Furious

Many have undoubtedly scarfed down a burrito bowl or two from Chipotle, the Mexican-ish chain with nearly 3,000 locations across the United States. Founded in 1993, Chipotle was one of the first major "fast casual" chains in the country, one that made a name for itself serving fresh, whole ingredients — never canned or frozen — such as "responsibly raised" beef (via Chipotle). The company also espouses a commitment to diverting waste from landfills and paying its employees competitive wages, but one policy around how its workers get compensated has generated a fair share of controversy.

Over the summer, Chipotle created a bit of an internet firestorm over the tipping policy on its delivery app. According to Insider, customers noticed that the app placed limits on how much they could tip their delivery person, a policy many cited as unfair ... and took to Reddit and Twitter to say so. And thanks to the winter storm dumping snow and sleet on the northeast over the past few days (the type of weather that usually generates lots of food delivery orders) the critique against Chipotle has resurfaced in full force.

Chipotle customers want to fairly tip their snow-dusted delivery people

Those who have lived in cold climates have almost certainly experienced the type of frigid, blustery winter storm conditions that are currently buffeting the northeastern U.S. — and we know how tempting it can be to turn to UberEats or GrubHub during such weather to order up some tasty food without having to brave the outdoors. Ordering food for delivery during a storm has been questioned for being ethically dubious by some, given that it can put delivery workers at risk of slipping and sliding across icy roads — and generally, it is expected that workers on the clock during inclement weather will be rewarded with a juicy tip (via Gothamist). But over the past few days, as hungry snow-stranded folks have tried to do just that, they've been thwarted by a stingy policy on Chipotle's delivery app.

Having made headlines over the summer for its app policy that doesn't allow customers to leave a tip that's more than 50 % of the customer's order total (via Insider), Chipotle is making the rounds on social media yet again.

A weak response from Chipotle

On Wednesday, Twitter user @RonBeehive shared an image of their Chipotle delivery order, with the popup warning, "Whoa whoa whoa. That is mighty generous of you, but tips can't be more than 50% of your food's total." Within the app, there is no way to get around this restriction, with the only clear option being a button that says "Okay."

"It's f***ing snowing and I want to tip my driver accordingly @ChipotleTweets. Why are you deciding how much tipped workers can make?" the user wrote. The message has been retweeted over 8,000 times and liked nearly 80,000 times at the time of publication, with many commenters expressing the shared frustration that they can't generously tip Chipotle delivery workers venturing out in the snow.

In response, Chipotle tweeted the same line it used back over the summer: "The Chipotle app includes safeguards around tipping to avoid human error, as well as fraud, to ensure its guests provide their intended dollar amount. All tips through the app go to the delivery driver."

But most commenters weren't convinced, arguing that the app should simply confirm they intended to tip that amount instead of shorting hardworking employees.