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How Old Do You Have to be to Work at Chipotle?

How Old Do You Have to be to Work at Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a restaurant chain that’s been growing in size and popularity for the past decade. They now have over 2000 restaurant locations in countries around the world and are known for making delicious Mexican-style food from fresh ingredients.

So how old do you have to be to work at Chipotle?

The short answer is 16. According to Chipotle’s corporate policy, employees must be a minimum of 16 years old to work at their restaurants.

Therefore, if you’re a teen looking for a job that doesn’t require you to have skills or previous experience, Chipotle might be a great choice for you.

how old do you have to be to work at chipotle

Minimum Age for Working at Chipotle

Based on the company’s own standards, you need to be at least 16 years old to work at Chipotle Mexican Grill. This is also in line with most state laws that also limit the age you can work.

However, in the states of Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Nevada, and Arkansas, you will need to be 18 years old before you can work at their restaurants, at least during “school hours.”

Read more: Chipotle Mission and Vision Statement Analysis

High staff turnover…

Chipotle is currently promoting their employment base with college students by offering an Education Assistance program (more on that later); however, they will hire people much younger than college age.

The bottom line is that, like most fast-food restaurants, their staff turnover is high. This means that most people don’t stay in the job for very long. For that reason, Chipotle is basically always hiring.

how old do you have to be to work at the chipotle

Jobs at Chipotle

For teens aged 16 and up, the main position you’ll be hired for is Hourly Crew Member. This means part-time, of course. The Hourly Crew is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Interacting with customers and working the cash register
  • Making burritos and bowls to order
  • Cooking and preparing ingredients in the kitchen
  • Emptying trash bins, stocking utensils, and filling sauces
  • Cleaning work stations, the front-of-house, bathrooms, and kitchen

While you will be trained how to do all of these jobs at first, most locations will have vacancies for certain jobs like cashier or cook. Your manager will put you into a more-or-less set position based on your skills and personality.

What Chipotle is Looking For?

Speaking of skills and personality, Chipotle is an interesting and equitable employer that has an unusual way to hire new people. Because most of the work is basic and easy enough to learn, they’re not as concerned with your technical skills as they are with your personal characteristics.

According to Chipotle.com, this restaurant isn’t looking for just anyone. They have a list of 13 characteristics that they think people should possess if they will be successful at their restaurants.

Chipotle’s 13 Characteristics…

Chipotle want people who are:

Motivated, “infectiously enthusiastic,” respectful, curious, presentable, happy, honest, polite, smart, ambitious, high energy, hospitable, and conscientious.

I don’t know about you, but to me, this list is basically what most every employer is looking for anyway!

Another thing that Chipotle looks for is a person’s career trajectory. Even though they still have a high turnover, it’s not nearly as high as many other places. This is because they look for people who will actually be interested in moving up the corporate ladder, so to speak.

People who want to move from hourly crew member to full-time supervisor to manager to trainer to franchise owner will be hired over people just looking for a summer job. That being said, only a fraction of their employees end up climbing the ladder like this. Most people work at Chipotle for an average of only six months.

Pay For Teens Working At Chipotle

So what does working at a chipotle restaurant pay, anyway?

While it varies based on the country, the state, the city, and even the franchise, the base pay for Hourly Crew Members is between minimum wage and $15 per hour. The average hourly rate for this job is $10/hour, which is a lot higher than the $7.25 minimum wage and better than average for fast-food restaurants.

Whether you’re going to be working on the cash register, making up tacos and bowls for customers, or cooking in the kitchen, this isn’t the lowest-paid job around. You’ll also be looking at the possibility of a raise every year if you stick out the job and do what you’re meant to do well. This is just one of the ways that Chipotle sweetens the deal to keep staff around as long as possible.

Benefits for Working at Chipotle

There are some benefits to working at Chipotle outside of your pay, too. The most obvious of those is that you get free food! To be specific, you are entitled to one free meal and drink per shift, so as long as you love Mexican food, you’ve got to be pretty happy with that.

You also get a discount of 50% off on all food and drinks on the days you’re not working. That being said, it’s hard to imagine you’ll be popping in a lot on your days off. And after eating there every shift, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll want to eat even more when you’re not working!

Bonuses for sales targets…

Another cool benefit that you get from working at Chipotle is their quarterly bonus program. To motivate employees, Chipotle offers a bonus every quarter (that’s every three months of the year).

So long as your restaurant does well and hits sales targets, that is. If it does, you can get paid a bonus equal to one week’s salary. On top of that, if you are there for a full year where the targets are met, you’ll get paid a bonus of one month’s wages.

how old do you have to be to work at chipotle guide

They help with tuition as well!

That’s not it, either. For student employees, Chipotle has a policy of scheduling shifts around your study schedule, not vice versa. They also have a special education assistance program for employees who have stayed on for over a year. They’ll help you with up to $5,250 towards your tuition fees per year.

There’s also some paid vacation time, 401(K) savings plans, free counseling, gym membership discounts, and a bunch more. You can even get paid a $200 bonus if you recruit a friend who gets hired. Most benefits are for staff who have proven themselves loyal and valuable by staying at Chipotle for over a year.

How To Apply?

If you’re 16 years old, you can apply for a job at Chipotle easily. As with most restaurants these days, you can either apply online at their website or fill out an application at a Chipotle location.

Since they’re almost always hiring, you should expect to get a call back soon enough. If you are invited to an interview, be sure to dress politely, if not too formally. Business casual is perfect. The interview will most likely take place at the location you are applying for. The first step is for you to speak with the manager or even perhaps the franchise owner. They’ll ask you some pretty standard questions.

BONUS TIP: Consider the 13 characteristics they’re looking for and try to make your answers represent these qualities.

Staff help with the hiring…

This is all very standard. However, the next stage is not. Chipotle lets their other staff have a fair amount of input into hiring new people, so you will likely get an interview with members of the crew you’ll be working with.

This is unusual but also quite nice because you get to meet each other and see if things will gel between you. That’s a lot better than finding out later that you’ll hate working with someone who you have to see every day!

Training session if you’re hired…

If you get hired, you’ll be scheduled to join a training session. This training time is paid and will let you know all about the restaurant, their food, and how to do the specific job that you’re being hired for. The training can take a few days up to a couple of weeks, depending on your schedule.

And then you’ll get started. You’ll work with your manager to sort out a work schedule and get going turning out tacos and mission burritos.

Create Your Own Mexican Fiesta At Home!

Who doesn’t love a Mexican Fiesta on a Friday with the family and great music!

With so many amazing recipe books online, we’ve put together our top selection with the Taco! Taco! Taco!: The Ultimate Taco Cookbook, The Best Mexican Recipes: Kitchen-Tested Recipes Put, the Best of Mexican Cooking: 75 Authentic Home-Style, and Taqueria Tacos: A Taco Cookbook to Bring the Flavors of Mexico Home, or how about The Mexican Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style, and A Taste of Mexico: The Complete Mexican Cookbook.

But there’s even more for the taco lovers out there; just take a look at The Taco Tuesday Cookbook., don’t worry, you can use it every day of the week! Or the Trejo’s Tacos Cookbook, and finally the Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen, Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A., all available online in 2023.

Additional Mexican restaurants…

Why not try a few more applications with my Qdoba Application, Taco Cabana Application, Taco Johns Application, Chuys Application, Taco Bell Application, and Del Taco Application. As well as interview guides for Taco Bell Interview Questions and Del Taco Interview Questions.

Of course, if your heart is set on Chipotle, we have our Chipotle Mexican Grill Application and Chipotle Interview Questions to help guide you.

Lastly, to decide which position you’d like to apply for, I suggest you read up on my Cashier Job Description, my Waitress Job Description, and Shift Leader Job Description, as well as my Assistant Restaurant Manager Job Description and Restaurant General Manager Job Description.

Final Thoughts

So, at what age can you work at Chipotle Mexican Grill? The company only hires people aged 16 and up. To be honest, they prefer to hire people who are finished high school. They have free hours to work during the day rather than just evenings.

However, if you’re at least 16 and you’re applying to a busy Chipotle location, they may be more than happy to have you. Just remember to exude those 13 wonderful characteristics from every pore as you interview for the job.

Who knows, you may just be in for a job that helps pay for your college and ends up being a lifetime career. Or, at the very least, you could be in for some delicious free tacos. Come on – who doesn’t love free Mexican food?!

All the very best getting a job at Chipotle!

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About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

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