How to be the best Chipotle customer, according to someone who actually works there

Pro tip: the ingredients have an order — use it

Chipotle Mexican Grill. You may have heard of it considering it's everyone's favorite fast-casual, locally-sourced burrito joint. Everyone thinks they're great at being a customer because they don't yell at the employees, and most of them are right. But here are a few ways you can ensure that you're an amazing customer and make your Chipotle experience great for all involved.

There's an order to ordering

Rice. Beans. Meat. Salsa. Corn or sour cream. Cheese, guac, lettuce. Our whole system is based on an assembly line. This is the most efficient way to build your bowl. i know you're excited about the lettuce, but first, I just need you to tell me what salsa you want.

It's okay to ask for more

The only extras that cost extra are extra meat and guacamole. Everything else? Have-freaking-at-it. Want three pieces of chicken and half a pan of cheese? Alright. Do you just want pinto beans wrapped in a tortilla? Call me Mr. Meeseeks, because CAN DO. Just don't make a big deal of it. Don't say "you didn't give me enough!", because we did. That's our job. Just ask for more.

Know what you want before you get to the counter

We are evaluated based on how quickly we can get a customer through the line. That's why we talk so fast and scoop rice at the speed of light–corporate literally judges us based on that. So, help us help you. You'll get your food faster when you know what you want — try to spend as little time as possible hemming and hawwing about whether or not you want sour cream.

Start at the very beginning

Remember how I said our system is an assembly line? That means there is one place for beginnings. So, when you first step up to order, tell the employee how much of each item you want RIGHT THEN: e.g., "I'm getting two salads, a burrito, and an order of tacos". Don't finish one order all the way to the end and then remember that you have 3 more quesadillas to order. That's not easier on anybody.

Trust that we know more than the menu board

"White or brown rice?"

"The menu only says cilantro-lime rice."

Well the board hasn't gone through employee training, Susan. They're both cilantro-lime rice. Choose white or brown.

Tell us when something is wrong

When you're ordering food, we are in a relationship. Short-lived, sure, but a relationship nonetheless. Relationships require communication. Did I accidentally put brown rice in your bowl when you wanted white? Tell me. Do you want a couple more pieces of chicken? Tell me. Do you want less cheese? Tell me. Don't huff and sigh and look forlorn and expect me to know what's wrong like my ex did. Be better than my ex. Get the food you want.

Trust us, we're pretty much experts on Chipotle

We pride ourselves on our knowledge of our product, our food safety, and our sanitation (so much so that the average employees washes their hands 10-12 times in a single shift). Believe me, we are working our hardest to make sure this experience is the best for you. So let us be your guides into burrito-y goodness. Take our (freshly washed) hand, and let us make your food. Don't worry; we know what we're doing.

James Madison University