i remember when i was younger, before costco, and sams, there was price club. i remember going with my mom and thought, “i want to work here when i grow up”. the runners for go-backs and such roller skated. i thought that was totally awesome. there was two people working each register station, one called out the item numbers. xj75309. i wanted to be that person.
as a regular diner at chipotle, i always wondered what it would be like to “work the line”. it is a genius business model and so efficient. the crew members never missed a burrito beat and the always took every crazy, absurd request with ease. well, my time had come. i finally got to “work the line”.
efficient, beyond. and exhausting. i got on the line when the doors opened at 11am and worked non stop (minus a few bevie breaks) until mynor was standing behind me in the mist of salsaing up some bowls at 5:05pm saying, “you’re done for the day”. i didn’t even realize the am crew had switched to pm.
i started at tortilla 2 which is the rice, beans, meat part. somehow i ended up at tortilla 1, the initial greeting and the spot that controls the flow of the line. there, the “one person, one burrito at a time” hit me. what i loved about my previous job so much, was that i had tons of time to connect with my guests. here, it’s quick. greeting each guest, and giving them those 10 seconds of your personal time as if they are the only one there, is really all you have. i thought it would be harder than it was to connect to people in such a quick setting but it was possible and awesome.
was it everything i wanted and expected it to be? you betcha. the combos people come up with are crazy. double chicken and double steak really?? every. single. thing. shoved inside the narrow opening of the crispy taco shells. all 4 salsa, extra sour cream, extra cheese, a little more cheese please, guac and lettuce. why of course.
it’s surprising how many eat at chipotle on a regular basis, though i shouldn’t be surprised, as i used to eat there at least twice a week. what is really surprising, is that with 1,200 stores and counting, there are many that have never been to a chipotle before. today i had one gentleman, one mom and her toddler, as well as a family of 6.
even though working the line worked me, and i cannot feel the pad of my middle finger on my right hand, (hello that tortilla press is almost temped at 400 degrees), i’m excited to do it all over again tomorrow.