Apparently Chipotle “cheated” customers out of pennies and will now stop rounding up and will continue to round down.
Is such a practice really that big of a deal? is the company trying to make money off it.
Chipotle reps say they employed the practice to reduce long lines and simply to be more efficient – a customer convenience and that they are not making a profit off of it.
On the surface, it seems to make sense.
Personally I can’t tell you how many times, I round up (not down) a tip left at a restaurant simply to have the total be even without any cents. I do the same when I pay bills; it’s just easier on me and my checkbook that way.
I’ve also gone to convenience stores and if the total is in the one or two cents odd range, I rarely have any pennies on me so I will dig in my purse for a nickel, dime or quarter. More often that not, the clerk will tell me not to worry about it and sometimes there is even a small tray with coin usually pennies that patrons can use.
And likewise if I am due back 2, or 3 cents, I will leave my pennies in the communal tray.
The pennies are just inconvenient. Canada has stopped making pennies. The Huffington Post reports that the last Canadian Penny was minted in May although they will still remain in circulation for awhile.
With the economy in the sorry state that it is in – especially for us 99% ers, I know firsthand the severity of the economic downturn – laid off, broke and struggling big time however even I am very cavalier in my attitude toward pennies.
I’d have to do the match to see if Chipotle really was making any money off this. I can tell you that they would have to have enormous volume – just enormous and the odd cents in their prices would have to be in the range of .06 to .09 cents for them to make anything. You would also have to subtract the losses for any of their menu items that had odd cents ranging from .01 to .04 cents since that would be rounded down.
Checking a few local Chipotle menus, the prices all end in a nice even number that are rounded to the dime, nickel, or quarter.
It seems like such a non-issue but I must admit it will be interesting to see what happens now that it’s “out” that Chipotle “cheated” customers out of pennies and will stop rounding up but continue rounding down.
Will they eventually change that practice or just change the prices so the rounding down is minimized?