Chipotle limits tip amounts to delivery workers, sparks outrage: 'This is so dystopian'

Chipotle limits tip amounts to delivery workers, sparks outrage: 'This is so dystopian'
Chipotle is limiting the amount delivery workers can earn in tips(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

How much do you tip your delivery workers? One generous customer wanted to tip over 50%, but he quickly learned Chipotle wasn't down for that. The person received a rather shocking pop-up, which said tips were limited to 50%. The screenshot soon went viral on social media, with over 3,000 retweets and 20k likes since it was put up hours ago on June 30. 

A large number of American restaurant workers rely on tips to make their living since most chains barely offer minimum wage jobs. However, sometimes, these tips can be the source of great contention, especially during the pandemic. In March, a San Diego woman sued Starbucks after a worker received over $100,000 in 'tips' via GoFundMe, for refusing to serve her since she didn't have a face mask. In April 2020, Tyler Perry made headlines for his $21,000 tips to workers at the West Paces, in Houston. 


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Things have been particularly bad for Chipotle. In May, New York City sued the fast-food giant for numerous violations of worker's rights. Now, we have learned that it is also limiting the amount workers can earn in tips. Combined with the NYC lawsuit, the news does paint a very poor picture of the brand, even though it did raise its worker's wages recently. 

Employees speak together at a Chipotle Mexican Grill on June 09, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Image)


No big tips, please!

The news of Chipotle's limitations came to light on June 30, after a Twitter user called Neph posted a screenshot. Neph made an order via Chipotle's app and when she tried to add a tip, was greeted with a pop-up. It said, "Whoa whoa whoa. That is mighty generous of you, but tips can't be more that 50% of your food's total." It's unclear how much she was trying to tip her delivery worker at the time, but the order was for just over $10. 

Neph posted a screenshot of that pop-up on Twitter, saying, "Food execs: we have high turnover pls tip your staff :( :( Also food execs:" It appears the screenshot originated on Reddit and was posted on Twitter by Neph. The original Reddit post says the person was "just trying to help the driver."



The tweet instantly got a lot of attention, and even more, after Chipotle responded. The company told Business Insider, "Similar to many retailers, the Chipotle app includes safeguards around tipping to avoid human error, as well as fraud, to ensure its guests provide their intended dollar amount." Chipotle isn't the only company that limits tips. Uber has a cap of $200, but they appear to be the outliers. Insider found that Grubhub and DoorDash don't have tip limits. 

Here's what Twitter had to say about Chipotle's policy, which they claim is only to prevent human error and fraud. 

'There's literally no justification' says angry Twitter

One user tweeted, "as someone who used to work there when I was homeless I'm begging you to please destroy Chipotle." Another replied, "The more I learn about Chipotle the more I loath it."




One person tweeted, "To any chipotle fans, PLEASE do not order through their app, even if you want to tip a standard 10-20%. It’s gonna be delivered by a DoorDash driver ANYWAY so you might as well go to the source. At least DoorDash only limits tips over 100% of your order."



"What the f---? it’s one thing to confirm before letting someone do it but prevent it completely? there’s literally no justification," one angry user responded. Another said, "the audacity of this company to tell ME the user how much I can pay to reward an employee or contractor. Wild times we live in."




A person replied to Neph's tweet, "this is so dystopian." Another replied, "Hey shouldn’t we have stopped supporting chipotle a loooong time ago? It’s time to now if not!!!"




A few other users highlighted the spelling error in the app, where the phrase 'more than' is replaced with 'more that'. Some believe that the error is an indication that the screenshot is fake, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Chipotle confirmed the tip limitations to Insider, so we know it exists. The error appears to have been overlooked, but it is unclear if it has been corrected. 



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