(NEXSTAR) – It was fun while it lasted, Chipotle fans.
Chipotle has confirmed that guests will no longer be able to take advantage of an online “hack” that went viral on social media as it resulted in a “bad experience” for restaurant staff and customers.
Users who had participated in the “hack,” as it was referred to on social media, had instructed their followers to use Chipotle’s online ordering platforms to order a single taco with all of the free toppings on the side, along with a tortilla. By doing so, many users claimed they could construct what essentially amounted to an entire burrito (or burrito bowl) for around $3 and change.
When ordered the traditional way, burritos typically cost upwards of $9, depending on proteins and toppings, according to the Chipotle website.
As first reported by Insider, Chipotle disabled the online option to order a single taco earlier this week.
“Guests are currently unable to order a single taco from our online ordering systems,” Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s head of corporate affairs, said in a statement shared with Nexstar. “While we’ve long embraced customization and even released our own hack menu, the current social media trend is resulting in a poor experience for our food, our staff and our customers waiting to order.”
Workers at several Chipotle locations across the U.S. told Insider that fulfilling those orders would slow down the entire restaurant. The item itself also wasted more packaging and disposable plastic cups than a traditional burrito order.
One manager from Ohio even told Insider that customers would get “aggressive” with employees when they were given the correct sides for a taco (rather than the larger sides given in burrito orders), even though they were technically only entitled to and the smaller taco-sized portions.
“It was just annoying for everyone,” she said in part in a statement to Insider.
Meanwhile, Schalow indicated in his statement that Chipotle is not opposed to all menu “hacks” on social media, pointing to three that Chipotle itself shared on TikTok in 2020. But each of those “hacks” — to order nachos, a taco salad or a seven-layer dip — was aimed at helping customers create off-menu items, rather than cheaper versions of current menu items.
Chipotle customers who still want to order tacos can still do so in person, Schalow told Nexstar.