Chipotle Careers and Job Application Guide

Many people who look for hourly fast-food restaurant jobs are looking for a steady paycheck and 40 hours of work each week. There are many Chipotle careers you can consider to fill this need and to help you carve out a nice future that can be very rewarding.

Working at Chipotle

Chipotle employees give this company slightly higher than average reviews on Indeed.com when it comes to the working culture, work/life balance, benefits and compensation, and job security. The management category gets the lowest ratings but they are still rated as average.

Here are some pros and cons of working at Chipotle that can help you decide on whether to apply:

Pros

  • Employees get free meals while on duty and 50% off during their free time
  • Your workdays can be very busy and stressful
  • This company has a great tuition reimbursement program
  • The benefits are very good
  • Coworkers are very friendly and supportive
  • Professional and positive working culture

Cons

  • The pay is low for the type of work you perform
  • Team member jobs require standing for very long periods
  • Some restaurants are constantly understaffed, making it harder on other team members
  • Workers complained of no breaks for hardly any breaks at all
  • A lot of complaints about bad management

Chipotle Pay

On the official careers website, Chipotle advertises its employee pay by combining the actual pay with the benefits. So, for example, it says that a regular team member has the potential to earn about $35,000 a year. In reality, they are referring to the $20,000 or so a year an employee can make in actual wages plus another $15,000 worth of benefits.

However, it is not entirely realistic to say that a first or second-year team member is going to earn $35,000 a year. Still, a career here looks very attractive for people of all ages because this company invests in its employees who work hard. Aside from that, the pay is competitive and benefits are said to be excellent.

Chipotle Career Path

Chipotle loves boasting about the fact that more than 80% of their company leaders began their careers as team members. Anyone with a desire and motivation to succeed can join this company and learn every aspect of running the restaurant.

This company offers a unique path to leadership that lasts about 18 months which prepares you or to go into a management position. Additionally, Chipotle has a college degree program that can cut your education costs substantially. 

An entry-level team member position is going to expose you to many facets of this company. You can be a salsa preparer, cashier, server, expo, prep cook, or grill cook.

Chipotle Restaurant Team Member

This is an entry-level job that requires six essential traits this company is looking for. To be the best available candidate, you’ll need to be:

  • A team player
  • Personable
  • Enthusiastic
  • Responsible
  • Ambitious
  • A good communicator

During the hiring process, Chipotle will be assessing your skills and experience to match you with a position that best suits you as a person. 

The following positions are available for team members:

Salsa 

If you are assigned to be a salsa opener, you’re going to show up early and have just a couple of hours to be able to prepare the sauces, sour creams, and vinaigrettes for your customers. You’ll also be dicing tomatoes to be used in the Pico de Gallo sauce this company is well known for. 

Other ingredients you’ll be working with include, jalapeños, onions, cilantro, citrus juice, and salt. You will be properly trained and how to perform this job but you’ll have to put forth plenty of effort to become a quick salsa preparer.

Cashier

A cashier at Chipotle works nonstop for many hours at a time while trying to fulfill the constant orders from customers. When the lunch crowd rolls in, especially, you’ll see the cashier constantly ringing up purchases and helping out the servers as much as possible.

This position requires you to stock salsa chips and place drinks in the refrigerator, There are also cleaning duties which include bathrooms, and stocking the customers’ food prep areas. For this position, although it’s preferable to have experience, an entry-level team member will be trained to be as efficient as possible. 

Server

As a server, you’re going to be doubling up as a cashier and your primary duties will be preparing meals and packaging orders from customers. Just like the cashier, you will assume cleaning duties inside and outside your restaurant.

Keep in mind this position is that of a team member and your management will ask you at times to assist other employees at their workstations. Therefore, this is the perfect position to learn all about the different aspects of food preparation and service at the restaurant.

Expo

This job is like being a runner at a restaurant. You’ll be constantly moving to make sure plates are prepared and finished and that the food gets delivered promptly to customers.

You will be working in sync with the server and the cashier, acting as the middleman. During peak times, you’ll be performing duties the other employees can’t because they are not allowed to leave their stations.

A great expo is like a jack of all trades that puts all the pieces together by helping out wherever and whenever he or she can.

Prep Cook

As a Chipotle prep cook, you’ll be one of the people responsible for marinating the meats and cutting all the vegetables that will be served for the rest of the day. This company only uses fresh ingredients, so you will be fairly busy throughout your shift.

Other duties will include frying salsa chips, preparing guacamole, shredding cheese, and helping other team members set up the front line to serve your customers.

Grill Cook

The Chipotle grill cook has one of the toughest jobs at the restaurant. If you are assigned to this position, you’ll be very busy multitasking during lunch rush hours. 

You’ll be grilling steaks and chicken, and you’ll be shredding carnitas. It will be your duty to make the rice and prepare the beans, as well.

Some talented prep cooks double up their duties as grill cooks from time to time. This is a job that requires practice, preparation, and skill.

Chipotle Managers

There are many supervisors running the show at any Chipotle location to make the restaurant a success. As a team member, you can work hard, gain experience, and advance into management quickly and make your way up to a general manager position.

Kitchen Manager

The Chipotle kitchen manager ensures that the best-tasting food is coming out of the kitchen. This is a job where you will be helping to train and develop new team members and groom them to become the next kitchen managers.

You will constantly be on your feet, actively engaged while you are guiding your team members to provide the best quality food possible to your customers. Your job is also to monitor inventory levels and resolve any issues that may arise with customer complaints.

This job has minimal requirements and they are; a high school diploma, some restaurant experience, and the ability to supervise other workers.

Service Manager

The service manager at Chipotle ensures the customers are getting quality food that is safely prepared. Other responsibilities include training your team members to provide the best service possible, maintaining a clean work area, and monitoring all the cooking equipment at your location.

The service manager at this company is constantly checking to make sure all food safety procedures and policies are followed. In this job, you’re also going to be managing employee breaks and shift changes.

The minimum requirements for this position are a high school diploma and experience as a team member or kitchen manager.

Assistant General Manager

As an assistant general manager with this company, you will be viewed as an experienced and talented apprentice who is ready to move up to the next level in management.

You’ll assume many of the duties of a general manager such as forecasting sales, scheduling employees, ensuring food safety, and profit and loss management. 

The minimum requirements for this position are having some business knowledge, a passion to lead employees, and experience as a team member at Chipotle or other restaurants.

General Manager

Chipotle calls its general managers the “captain of the ship.” This fits the job well because you will be constantly engaged with your team members as they work in sync to provide the best food in customer service possible.

As a manager, one of your primary goals will be maximizing the profitability of your location. Another will be creating an excellent and positive working atmosphere for your team members so that your store can be a success.

The minimum requirements for this position are the same as for the assistant general manager position. Many team members have gone on to become general managers for this company in a fairly short amount of time.

Chipotle Restaurateur

The best general managers become eligible for the restaurateur position. This is a much higher position that can eventually pay well over $100,000 a year.

This is a highly responsible career where you will be overseeing approximately 10 Chipotle restaurants. This job will require you to work long hours as you interact with management teams and motivate the team members at each location daily.

The restaurateur position also gives you the responsibility of making sure all of the restaurants under your guidance are staffed with the best performing team members and managers. You will be the one ultimately responsible for the profit and loss of each location, expense control and sales budgets, payroll budgets, accounting, and issues regarding personnel.

Field Leader

A field leader has many responsibilities all having to deal with leading team members to success in various restaurant locations. In this position, you will be overseeing a few locations and you will be building partnerships with management teams to strengthen each store’s working culture and profitability.

You will either be assigned a company vehicle or you’ll drive your car and you will get mileage reimbursement for your travel. 

Chipotle Corporate Careers

Chipotle usually has corporate careers available in Columbus, OH, McLean, VA, and Newport Beach, CA.

Here are some examples of the positions offered:

  • Social Listening Analyst 
  • Senior Analyst
  • Regional Field Asset Protection Manager
  • Employee Service Center Manager
  • Payroll Systems Lead
  • Regional Restaurant Food Safety Manager
  • Facilities Maintenance Apprentice
  • Pricing Director

How to Apply at Chipotle

Chipotle only accepts applications online. Here are the steps you need to take if you want to apply:

  1. Visit the official Chipotle Careers website.
  2. Click on each of the navigation links and become familiarized with this company and what it offers (Values, In Restaurant, Support Center, and Benefits).
  3. When you are ready to explore the different careers available, click on the “Careers” navigation link.
  4. Enter your ZIP Code in the search box and check either Restaurant Crew, Restaurant Management, or Corporate, then click the “Search Jobs” link.
  5. On the next page, look through the job results and choose one that interests you.
  6. Click on the” View Job” link, and read the job description.
  7. When you are ready to apply, click the “Apply Now” button.
  8. On the following page, create a new user account to begin your Chipotle job application.

Chipotle Application Process

Usually, you will get a callback from the hiring manager within the first week after you apply online. Sometimes, you may get lost in the shuffle or there may be so many applications that it may take longer to process your appointment for an interview.

If a few days go by and you would rather not wait much longer, dress up in business casual wear and visit the Chipotle you applied to. Some employees say they had to do this and that they were hired on the spot after a quick interview by management!

The usual time it takes from an online Chipotle application to getting hired is anywhere between one to four weeks.

Chipotle Interview Questions

What are some of the questions you may be asked during the Chipotle interview? Here’s a list of examples:

  • When and what days are you available to work?
  • How many hours a week do you want to get assigned?
  • Can you work late hours?
  • Why did you choose Chipotle?
  • What is your work experience?
  • Why do you think a job here would be good for you?

Minimum Age to Work at Chipotle

You need to be 16 years of age if you want to work at Chipotle. You won’t be eligible to become a grill cook or in any other position that involves a high liability environment. 16 and 17-year-olds are usually part-time team members placed at the front of the restaurant in one of the various duties and positions where customers are served.

Background Check

Oftentimes, Chipotle will conduct background checks on new employees before they are hired. This depends on your location and your management.

There are some past and present employees who say there was no background check at all. However, there’s no way to count on this so you should be prepared to expect one.

Does Chipotle drug test?

According to employees, Chipotle does not conduct a drug test as a condition of hiring. However, there is no way to take this at face value. It’s important to always be prepared to have to submit to a drug test during the hiring process.

Does Chipotle hire felons?

This company will hire felons but this is done on a case-by-case basis. This all depends on what type of felony someone was convicted of and how much time has elapsed. 

Additionally, it’s important to remember that Chipotle believes in giving people opportunities, so it’s important to be upfront and honest about your past while applying.

History

Steve Ells founded Chipotle Mexican Grill in 1993, in Denver, Colorado. Once the first restaurant opened, it quickly became successful and Ells eventually opened up a second restaurant in 1995.

With a $1.5 million investment from his father as well as another $1.8 million through private investors, Ells began expanding and by 2006, it began growing into the powerful fast food casual restaurant chain it is today.

Chipotle Benefits

Chipotle is one of the few restaurant companies that offer its employees a comprehensive health and benefits plan. Full-time workers who have worked more than 30 hours over a 1 to 2 month period will qualify for enrollment in the medical, dental, and vision plan.

Here are some of the benefits enjoyed by all full-time employees:

  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • Paid time off
  • Free meals
  • 401(k) with a company match
  • Up to $5250 a year for education goals
  • Quarterly performance bonuses
  • Employee assistance program
  • Free uniforms
  • Assorted discounts
  • Employee stock purchase plan

If you are a salaried worker who has put in 10 years of work for this company, you qualify for an additional 8 weeks of paid time off in addition to your regular vacation time!

Final Thoughts

Every time I have visited a Chipotle restaurant, I have observed the front-of-the-house workers doing everything possible to get customers’ orders out as quickly as possible. These employees always seem to be very young, motivated, and energetic.

Team member positions are very appealing to younger workers because they require standing on your feet for long periods and working quickly. This doesn’t mean older workers can’t find a great position at Chipotle.

Many 20-somethings and above find the perfect home and career at this restaurant chain. The most appealing aspect of finding a career with this company is the fact that it provides a path to a future.

A job here begins the promise of being able to groom team members into a high management position. This alone is extremely appealing and unique when you realize up to 80% of management positions have been filled by people who started as team members.

All in all, this is one of the best fast food casual restaurants to consider if you’re looking for a long-term career. The only drawback is that as a team member, you’re going to have to work very hard for very little pay until you move up the ranks.

Featured image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart and Flickr.com through Creative Commons.

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