Chipotle doesn’t seem to be able to give its margaritas away. Nearly half of the chain’s 2,000-plus locations currently serve alcohol, but booze only accounts for 2 percent of Chipotle’s sales. What’s the problem? Why don’t people go to Chipotle for happy hour? Foodbeast’s Elie Ayrouth decided to investigate the matter, and he has now filed his report. He admits that Chipotle locations are not exactly conducive to drinking: “Maybe it’s the ambiance, maybe it’s the high schoolers running around.” But he gives the place a fair trial anyway. Recently, he joined his roommate and a couple of buddies for an honest attempt at a fun-filled, alcohol-fueled evening at a Chipotle restaurant. The results were decidedly mixed. First, the good news: Chipotle makes a very decent margarita. Ayrouth ranks it as one of the best he’s ever had, and they’re only $4.79. But the cashier did not seem thrilled to be serving adult beverages. “The eyes of the girl taking my order become like a deer in headlights,” he writes, “as if I just asked for all the money in the register.” The guys are cut off after two drinks apiece. End of happy hour.
Ayrouth and his cohorts decided to call around to various Chipotle locations and find out if the two-drink maximum is some kind of draconian corporate mandate. It turns out not to be. They’d just chosen the worst possible location for their first attempt at a Chipotle happy hour. The other restaurants seem cool about customers drinking, as long as they remain “presentable.” The group’s second attempt goes much, much better than the first. In the accompanying video, the bacchanal is underscored by “Do You Believe In Magic?” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. At last, the guys are freely able to enjoy Chipotle food while downing margaritas and beer. They seem to have a great time. “They don’t want you to drink at Chipotle,” Ayrouth advises, “but you should.”