If Your Chipotle Burrito Looks Smaller Soon, Blame 3D Printing (Updated: Chipotle Says Portion Sizes Won't Change)

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Chipotle isn’t known for stingy serving sizes, but people have been coming up with tricks to maximize the size of their burritos for years. But our days of gloriously unhealthy oversized heaps of Tex-Mex fast food may be numbered: Chipotle has enlisted a 3D printing company to fight the scourge of overstuffed tortillas.

Update 3:52 pm: Chipotle reached out to clarify that its work with 3D printing is not to make portion sizes smaller. Gluttons, rejoice! And Chipotle Communications Director Chris Arnold denies working with Voodoo Manufacturing altogether:

This story is grossly overstated. We have been doing some testing with 3D printed scoops at ShopHouse, though that was directed solely at efficiency and consistency, not on portion sizes. We have considered similar testing for takeout lines at Chipotle - also aimed at consistency and efficiency, not portion sizes - but we haven’t done any work on that as of now. We have not worked with Voodoo Manufacturing for Chipotle, and do not intend to at this time, so the nature of this relationship and this initiative are way overstated. Ultimately, they made a few prototypes for us (for ShopHouse) but we don’t plan to move forward with them, and have not done anything with them for Chipotle.


3D printing startup Voodoo Manufacturing is working with Chipotle to develop a new serving spoon that will help burrito builders dole out a standardized amount of beans, rice, guacamole, and Sofritas, which means you’ll have a harder time convincing Chipotle employees to super-size your burrito.

It appears Chipotle is determined to engineer a precision-scooper thoroughly resistant to XXL helpings, as the Observer describes it:

“We went through 30 different prototypes with them. They’d send us a file the night before and we’d have it to them the next morning,” 23-year-old Max Friefeld, co-founder of Voodoo Manufacturing, told the Observer.

One way of looking at this is the death of calorie bargains, but on the bright side, Chipotle burritos are monstrous sour cream vehicles destined to make us fat, so while portion control is the best interest of Chipotle’s bottom line, it’s also in the best interest of our bottoms.


Photo: animalkitty/Flickr