Chipotle General Manager Quits With 4 Others Due To 'Impossible' Conditions

All year, we've heard about stories where service employees and particularly fast food employees quit en masse from their stores. Often, they cited extreme working conditions with little in terms of wages and benefits to show for them.

The more this happens, the more obvious it is that workers are getting fed up. Although the issues they point to have existed for years, they've become so much harder to ignore in the wake of spiking orders that have come with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And as we've seen in more recent examples of what some are calling The Great Resignation, these problems have only been compacted for the workers who have stayed around as they're facing interminable work days and seemingly endless orders.

And as we're about to see, the worsening environments that come from this downward spiral are only inspiring more employees to quit.

At Chipotle, workers are meant to staff two different food prep lines. One of these is intended for walk-in customers, while the other is intended for online orders.

But as a former Chipotle general manager in Austin, Texas named Peter Guerra (not pictured) told Insider, this arrangement started to make him feel as though he was being set up to fail. When online orders skyrocketed, staff found themselves having to serve an "impossible" amount of customers at once.

And as he explained, that only got worse when employees started reaching their breaking point and quitting.

In his words, "My store was severely understaffed, we struggled just to keep our heads above water."

And since he reported receiving less and less support from upper management as staffing issues dragged on, Guerra found himself having to work more hours than his scheduled 80 hours per week to make up for scheduling gaps.

However, his breaking point came on November 13 when customers lined up beyond the door while online orders piled up.

He had to close the dining room to focus on online orders and although he was "in tears" at the thought of having to do the same the next day, that's exactly what happened.

As he put it, "I thought, 'this is literally going to kill me if I keep it up."

Indeed, both he and kitchen manager James Williams ended up working 16-hour shifts on what would turn out to be their last day before leaving their stores at 1 am.

And the pressure mounted so much on November 14 that even the customers and delivery drivers noticed and sympathetically told them to take their time.

As Guerra said, "They could see the burnout on our faces."

And so both Guerra and Williams as well as three other employees ended up quitting after this final shift on November 14.

In Williams' words, "Everyone that didn't clock in the next day was assumed to have quit. It was a ghosting process."

This meant that their Chipotle location would be closed on November 15.

And while a Chipotle's representative confirmed that the store had closed and re-opened by November 16, Insider reported that they declined to comment further on the chain's staffing issues.

Instead, the representative's response was to say, "In a few minor instances, there have been challenges with available labor so we made adjustments in these restaurants to temporarily accommodate the needs of the business."

h/t: Insider

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