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7 Things You'll Never See at Chipotle Again

The Tabasco bottles and soda fountains are things of the past.

It's no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we eat, both at home and in restaurants. During quarantine, people have started cooking more than ever. And at reopened restaurants, plenty of safety measures are in place. So what does that mean for your favorite restaurant chains and fast-casual joints?

For starters, there are things you won't see in restaurants again, like physical menus or condiment bottles. And getting a self-serve drink refill could be a thing of the past, at least until there's a coronavirus vaccine available. If burrito bowls are one of your favorite foods, here are some of the things you might never see at Chipotle again.

And for more ways to stay safe, be sure to avoid these 5 Major Mistakes You're Making When Going to a Restaurant.

Drink stations

chipotle cup tabasco bottles burrito bowl

Plan for a Chipotle employee to dispense your fountain soda for you. Drink refill stations are going extinct at restaurants across the country, and for good reason. They're an easy place for germs to spread, especially if people reuse the same drinking cup for a refill.

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Hot sauce bottles

two bottles of tabasco sauce on a table
Arne Beruldsen/Shutterstock

Shared condiments are a big no-no, and that goes for Chipotle, too. Plan to get mini hot sauce packets to add to your burrito, rather than shaking on Tabasco from a bottle at the condiment station. "Tabasco bottles and cutlery will no longer be self-serve," Chipotle stated in its coronavirus response statement.

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Employees without face masks

chipotle workers assembling burritos

If you're worried about the team making your burrito, don't be. Chipotle has stated that "employees are wearing masks as part of their uniform."

Unsealed to-go bags

chipotle bag

Chipotle has taken an extra step toward food safety by implementing "tamper-evident bags." So if you order delivery or takeout, your paper bag will be sealed at the top.

Crowded lines

chipotle mall

If you've been to a busy Chipotle during the weekday lunch hour, you might have stood in a long line that wrapped through the restaurant and out the door. But thanks to social distancing guidelines, these lines won't be as tightly packed. Customers waiting to order will have to stand six feet apart, as designated by floor markers.

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Sick employees

chipotle mexican grill storefront at nighttime

For too long, workers, especially essential workers, have gone to work while sick to maintain attendance records or receive full pay. But during the pandemic, working while sick could put your coworkers and customers at a greater risk. Chipotle has mandated that "every employee signs a daily wellness check to ensure they are healthy and symptom-free" before starting their shift.

And those employees won't lose money if they can't work, either: "Individuals directly affected by COVID-19 may receive pay equal to their upcoming two-week schedule or average hours worked," according to the company's coronavirus response statement.

Carne asada

carnitas salad chipotle
Courtesy of Chipotle

It's not because of the pandemic, but carne asada is no longer a protein option at Chipotle. The meat was discontinued earlier this year, but fans were appeased by the addition of Chipotle's new (and better-tasting) queso formula.

And when you're cooking at home, don't miss these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Meghan De Maria
Meghan De Maria is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food, product, and restaurant coverage. Read more about Meghan