(NEXSTAR) – It was fun while it lasted, Chipotle fans.
Chipotle has confirmed that guests will no longer be able to take advantage of an online “hack” that gained popularity on social media, as it resulted in a “poor experience” for employees and customers in the restaurants.
Users who had partaken in the “hack,” as it was referred to on social media, had instructed their followers to use Chipotle’s online ordering platforms to place an order for a single taco with all of the free toppings on the side, along with a tortilla. By doing so, many users claimed they could construct what essentially amounted to an entire burrito (or burrito bowl) for around $3 and change.
When ordered the traditional way, burritos generally cost upwards of $9, depending on proteins and add-ons, according to the Chipotle website.
As first reported by Insider, Chipotle disabled the online option to order a single taco earlier this week.
“Guests are currently unable to order a single taco from our online ordering systems,” said Laurie Schalow, the chief corporate affairs officer for Chipotle, in a statement shared with Nexstar. “While we have long embraced customizations and even released our own hack menu, the current social media trend is resulting in a poor experience for our food, our employees and our customers waiting for orders.”
Workers at several Chipotle locations across the U.S. told Insider that having to fulfill these orders would slow down the entire restaurant. The item itself also wasted more packaging and single-use plastic cups than a traditional burrito order.
One manager, from Ohio, even told Insider that customers would get “aggressive” with employees when they were given the appropriate-sized sides for a taco (rather than the larger sides provided in burrito orders), even though they were technically only entitled to the smaller taco-sized portions.
“It was just annoying for everyone,” she said, in part, in a statement to Insider.
Meanwhile, Schalow indicated in her statement that Chipotle isn’t against all menu “hacks” on social media, pointing to three that Chipotle itself shared on TikTok in 2020. But each of these “hacks” — for ordering nachos, a taco salad or a seven-layer dip — were aimed at helping customers create off-menu items, rather than cheaper versions of current menu items.
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Chipotle customers who still wish to order tacos, meanwhile, can still do so in-person, Schalow told Nexstar.