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Wells Fargo Analysts Tested 75 Bowls at Chipotle — and the Portion Sizes Were Wildly Inconsistent Zachary Fadem and a team of analysts ordered the same bowl 75 times at eight different NYC restaurants.

By Emily Rella Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • Chipotle has faced criticism from customers who allege the chain is inconsistent with portion sizes.
  • A team of Wells Fargo analysts ordered 75 bowls (all the same way) at eight different Chipotle locations to test the weight and size.
  • The team found the portions to be inconsistent.

Chipotle has been under scrutiny by customers who accuse the chain of skimping out on portion sizes.

A new trend even emerged on social media, where customers will film themselves ordering at the fast-casual chain to encourage Chipotle employees to give them fuller bowls.

Related: Chipotle's Robots Can Make Almost 200 Burrito Bowls an Hour

Now, a group of Wells Fargo analysts decided to settle the debate — by ordering 75 of the same bowls at eight different NYC Chipotle locations.

Led by analyst Zachary Fadem, the group of finance professionals ordered 75 bowls of white rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, and lettuce.

Surprising no one, the results showed that portion size and weight of the bowls varied significantly.

The median weight of the bowls was 21.5 ounces. Some locations offered the bowl at a hefty 27 ounces while another only came in at 14 ounces — all from the same menu and prepared in the same way.

"Consistency varied widely, w/ some locations serving bowls that weigh ~33% more than other locations (on equivalent orders); and the heaviest digital/in-store bowls weighing 87%/47% more vs the lightest," Fadem reported. "While throughput is improving, order consistency remains an opportunity."

In May, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol denied that portion sizes had gotten smaller during an interview with Fortune.

"The portions have not gotten smaller," Niccol said assuredly. "We always want to give people big portions that get them excited about the food."

Related: Chipotle Rolls Out New Perks to Attract Gen Z Workers

Chipotle had a strong Q1 2024, with total revenue reaching $2.7 billion, a 14% increase from the same time last year. The chain also opened 47 new restaurants in the quarter.

Chipotle did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur's request for comment regarding portion size variability.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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