Chipotle CEO Claims Portions Aren't Getting Smaller, Reveals How to Get More Food With a 'Special Look'

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol denies claims that the portion sizes have been shrinking. Hundreds of people took to Reddit and TikTok with complaints.

Niccol told Fortune, "portions have not gotten smaller." He offered a tip: give workers a secret look for more food.

The eatery, known for big portions, faces angry customers. They insist portions have shrunk while prices have increased. Niccol denied the claims and suggested giving workers a "look" for more food.

“One of the things I think is great about Chipotle is if you come into the restaurant and you want a little more rice or you want a little more pico [de gallo],” Niccol said. He widened his eyes and nodded, “usually our guys and women give them a little more scoop.”

Big portions are part of the brand's image. “It’s kind of who we are,” Niccol told Fortune.

“We always want to give people big portions that get them excited about the food,” he said. Doubling the meat costs more, but the goal is to excite people with delicious food.

Customers on Reddit and TikTok disagree. One user wrote, “I used to eat Chipotle 2-3x a week. I haven’t been in a year. It’s inconsistent, expensive, and the portions are terrible.”

Another wrote, “Skimping on chicken/meat may make financial sense. They are skimping rice and beans on veggie bowls. That’s crazy.”

Some try questionable methods for bigger portions, like filming workers. Influencers believe filming gets them more food and advise others to do the same.

Recording workers is controversial. One Chipotle employee posted, “I’m not dealing with getting videoed [because] someone’s sad about portions. Sorry that corporate sucks, but I can’t do anything about it and I sympathize with some customers. I try to give more than I’m supposed to. But a camera in my face is dehumanizing.”

Chipotle addressed the trend on TikTok on May 23. It showed people holding phones and taking videos at the counter. It also said filming doesn't guarantee more food.

The noise about portion sizes follows multiple price hikes since 2021. The hikes offset higher wages and costs of goods. Chipotle announced price hikes last October, the fourth in two years. Other chains, like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, also raised prices in the last two years.