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Thread: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

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    Default Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Never mind two cents: Customers gave Chipotle Mexican Grill an earful over the chain's practice of rounding checks up or down to the nearest nickel.

    After an investigation by the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger's consumer watchdog, Chipotle revised its policy of rounding up or down to the nearest nickel at "a small number of restaurants in a few of our highest volume markets," as characterized by spokesman Chris Arnold in an email. He said affected markets included New York, New Jersey and the Washington, D.C. area.

    As of August 1, Arnold said those restaurants only will round down in customers' favor, and a notification has been added to the bottom of each receipt. Arnold said Chipotle didn't profit when the rounding went both ways. "We never benefitted in any way other than making lines move faster," he said.

    "I think if they were rounding up ... and weren’t disclosing it, it might be actionable by a state attorney general under unfair and deceptive practices laws," Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director with Public Interest Research Group said via email.
    Getting customers in and out as fast as possible is a huge priority for fast-casual restaurants in general and Chipotle in particular, as it contends with a slowdown in growth and sales that missed expectations last quarter.

    Chipotle blamed the economy for the 8 percent increase in same-store sales that disappointed investors, but some analysts challenged that assertion. "Are the peak hours approaching capacity issues that would somewhat limit the traffic growth going forward or transaction growth going forward?" Merrill Lynch's Joe Buckley asked on the company's conference call last month.
    Co-CEO Montgomery Moran said this wasn't the case. "Even in our busiest restaurants, we're not having a problem ... getting people through the lines." Moran said restaurants processed an average of six transactions per hour more during peak times in the second quarter.

    Mierzwinski said, "I don't really see an issue" now that the rounding benefits diners, but NPD Group restaurant industry analyst Bonnie Riggs said she didn't see much benefit to the practice, either.

    "It boggles my mind where they’re coming from on this," she said. "It just doesn't seem like doing that with the check is going to allow you to drive that much more traffic."

    http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/...comes-to-light

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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Geezer Jr. tells me that in Austria the practice is to pay your bill and to round up to the next dollar as a tip for your waiter(ess). The service help are paid quite well there and any cash tip is a bonus....excessive tipping is discouraged.
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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    What is the big deal with rounding up or down to the nearest nickel, as long as they go either way?

    In fact, if it indeed saves time/money, EVERYONE should do it. Why not, now that you think about it, stop making pennies, which cost the government (i.e. the American taxpayer) more than a penny each to make. It would take some getting used to, but I am all for saving $$$ anywhere you can.

    I believe than many countries have stopped making low denomination coins that would correspond to the penny, and round off bills.
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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Geezer Jr. tells me that in Austria the practice is to pay your bill and to round up to the next dollar as a tip for your waiter(ess). The service help are paid quite well there and any cash tip is a bonus....excessive tipping is discouraged.
    Pretty much the way it is in most of the known westernized world. Only in America are restaurant owners allowed to pay their workers a couple dollars per hour in an attempt to pass their wages onto the generosity of the customer.
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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    yup in Hungary we removed the penny and 2 cents (forint) from circulation and have started to round up and down on the nickel - its awesome not dealing with such small change. Nobody wants those suckers anyway.

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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Seriously, get rid of pennies already.

    As for the article. They shouldn't be rounding, tell your employees to learn basic math. Good lord.
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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    I thought there was a discussion when I was in high school (back in like 2000) to get rid of all change currencies. Wonder what ever came of that?

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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    I'll take your pennies. We put all our coins in a big bottle and change them in. We have over $400 at last count. I guess the rounding practice would balance out over the course of a year for the person, but don't most people pay with plastic anyway?

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Are people really complaining over upwards of 4 cents? Sheesh.

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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Are people really complaining over upwards of 4 cents? Sheesh.
    Hey, its a rough economy. Every penny counts.....

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    Default Re: Chipotle says keep the change after practice of rounding bills up, down comes to light

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Are people really complaining over upwards of 4 cents? Sheesh.
    If it's done with no mention of them doing it then they are intentionally over-charging customers... regardless of the amount. That makes it illegal. If they clearly state they will be rounding up/down then it's a non-issue. Granted we're talking pennies here so this isn't high level corporate crime but it's the principle of it. If it's so innocent, just advertise the practice prominently on the menu and receipts. Problem solved.
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