The popular and fast-growing food chain Chipotle claims it has more than 65,000 possible menu combinations.
So the folks at Business Insider decided to look into this claim to see if the Mexican restaurant actually offers that many possibilities.
“While their menu has remained relatively unchanged for years -- Chipotle claims that it prides itself on the simplicity of its offerings -- you could feasibly go to Chipotle for decades and never order an identical menu choice,” BI’s Walter Hickey writes.
He notes the following passage from recent Chipotle promotional material:
A Few Things, Thousands of Ways. We serve only a few things: burritos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla), tacos and salads. But because customers can choose from four different meats, two types of beans and a variety of extras such as salsas, guacamole, cheese and lettuce, there’s enough variety to extend our menu to provide more than 65,000 choices.
The restaurant's menu has changed very little over the years. So what did BI find?
- ITEM: Burrito, Burrito Bowl, Crispy Taco, Soft Taco, Salad (5)
- RICE: White, Brown, Both or No (4)
- BEANS: Black, Pinto, Both, None (4)
- FILLING: Carnitas, Barbacoa, Chicken, Steak, None (5)
- GUACAMOLE: Yes or No (2)
- SALSA: Corn, Mild, Medium, Hot, None (5)
- CHEESE: Yes or No (2)
- ROMAINE: Yes or No (2)
- SOUR CREAM: Yes or No (2)
- VEGGIE: Yes or No (2)
And then there are the possible salsa combinations:
- 1 way to put all four salsas on an item
- 4 ways to put three salsas on an item
- 6 ways to put two salsas on an item
- 4 ways to put one salsa on an item
- 1 way to put zero salsa on an item
“Then, since you can also allegedly combine the meats the same way as the salsas [there are 16 ways to put salsa on an item], there are 16 combinations of meats,” Hickey notes.
“As a result, after doing the calculations there are a shocking 655,360 combinations, more than 10 times as much as Chipotle's alleged 65,000 combination menu,” he adds.
Provided the restaurant continues to grow and add more items to its menu, expect that 655K number to grow. And that’s awesome. America.
Click here to read the full BI analysis.
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