Business, Economics and Jobs

Chipotle cheating customers out of pennies, rounding checks


Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reported that its first quarter earnings were up 35 percent.


Scott Olson

It turns out some Chipotle receipts aren't adding up.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that a number of Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants are rounding customer's bills up or down by a few pennies.

More from GlobalPost: Chipotle profits soar in first quarter

Jayson Greenberg told The Ledger he noticed there was something wrong after visiting one of the chain's restaurants in New Jersey.

"The receipts at the Chipotle in West Caldwell don’t add up when there are odd amounts involved," Greenberg said.

He was right.

"It’s something we do in some high volume markets, including New Jersey," said Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold. "The way it works is that prices auto-round to the nearest quarter and that’s indicated on the receipt. The idea is simply to limit the possible combinations of change on cash transactions to keep the lines moving quickly in high volume areas."

According to the Examiner, the practice was widespread in New York and New Jersey, the chain's busiest stores.

The rounding, which sometimes benefits consumers, other times the store, is only legal according to Consumer Affairs if the merchandise "is plainly marked by a stamp, tag, label or sign either affixed to the merchandise or located at the point where the merchandise is offered for sale."

As a result, Chipotle told the Consumerist, that locations in New Jersey and New York will no longer be rounding up, only down after August 1.

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