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Automated Burrito [aw-tuh-meyt-ed buh-ree-toh] – The ability to walk through the line at Chipotle without saying a word, from the start of the tortilla to checkout, and having your burrito made to your satisfaction.
Being an automated test engineer, you shoot for repeatability and reproducibility. I strive for nothing less in my personal life. When I started my diet, never was it my goal to be able to walk in and have my burrito be made without having to say a word. However, I noticed that by me ordering the same burrito 5 times a week, 18 weeks in a row, my order has started to become both repeatable and reproducible. In fact, it only took 91 burritos in order to accomplish such a task. 91st time the charm.
So what does it mean to get a fully automated burrito? Well, there are three key aspects to receiving an automated burrito. First is the tortilla cooker. It is the job of the tortilla cooker to ask you if you would like a burrito, fajita, burrito bol, or tacos. The tortilla cooker also dishes out the meat. Over the 90 visits to Chipotle, I had successfully trained 4 tortilla ladies that when I walk in, I want only one thing; a Chicken Fajita.
The second and most important aspect of the automated burrito is the condiment person. This person is in charge of the 4 different salsas, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and guacamole. The combinations seem endless. This part of the automated burrito experience took a while to occur. However, over time I have two condiment ladies that know when I walk in, I want two scoops of red tomatillo salsa, 1 scoop of the medium (corn) salsa, and cheese. That’s it, nothing more or nothing less.
The checkout person is the final key. The checkout person is responsible for asking you if you would like water or soda to drink. Also, the checkout person must ask you if you would like to eat here or have your burrito to go. This one became pretty easy to automate as I now have 3 checkout ladies that know I would like to eat my burrito for here and with water to drink.
It turns out that it took about 12 weeks to establish a good set of tortilla, condiment, and checkout ladies who knew my order. The next step was getting them to work in the right spots. Some of you may know that the ladies don’t always work the same shifts. On top of that, the ladies don’t even work in the same spots. Some days my condiment ladies were cooking tortillas and others they were working the registers. Some days my ladies were working in the evening rather than lunch. It was just a matter of time before they were all in their correct positions at the correct time.
90 times I have walked in an out of Chipotle having consumed a delicious Chicken Fajita with hot sauce (2 scoops), corn, and cheese. The 91st time was special. As I walked in, I noticed that all three ladies were in their respective positions. I knew this was going to be good. I walked up to the tortilla lady, and she started making my burrito without blinking an eye. The condiment lady was the same way. Finally, I got to the register lady. Two times before I have gotten this far and they have asked me whether I want to eat it here or to go. Not today however. She grabbed my water cup, placed my burrito in the tray, and swiped my gift card. I let out a sigh of relief as I have just achieved the fully automated burrito. Hopefully, many more automated burrito experiences are to come.
Therefore, if you are ever in the neighborhood of 40 and 291 Hwy in Independence, MO, make sure you ask for ‘The Justin’ and sit back and enjoy the automated burrito experience.
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 9:28 AM | Back to top

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