Battle of the Burritos: Chipotle vs Moe’s

When one wants a quick burrito in Apex and doesn’t care about a lick of authenticity but respects themselves too much for Taco Bell, they’ll find themselves with two options: Chipotle or Moe’s Southwest Grill. The two fast-casual Mexican food chains have been competing for years and have been known to get into social media feuds, most notably about the quality of their quesos. Though Chipotle is a sales titan, grossing about 4.5 billion in the 2017 financial year, Moe’s has a special place in the hearts of many. As Chipotle meets expansion problems, Moe’s has been raising in profits and popularity.  In 2016 Moe’s beat Chipotle for the title of America’s favorite Mexican fast food chain on Harris Polls while Chipotle didn’t even place in the top four. When Apex High leaves our temporary home of Green Level, the upperclassmen will find themselves with the option of both for off campus lunch. Whose crumpled to-go bags will you see stuffed into more people’s backpacks, and which one is Apex’s favorite?

Apex High students were asked to choose which chain they preferred. 60% chose Moe’s while the remaining 40% chose Chipotle. Junior Jasmine Hammar broke down the pros and cons of each: “Chipotle has really good rice, like, really good rice. Moe’s steak can be chewy, but their bowls are bigger. They give you a lot more queso at Moe’s also, and it’s better than Chipotle’s. Chipotle has very limited toppings, but Moe’s has a lot of them. Moe’s is a lot cheaper, but, like, Chipotle makes you feel boujee. I go to whichever my wallet lets me, honestly.”

Those who chose Moe’s said that it was because of their significantly lower prices, the quality of certain items, and their tag line. Moe’s is half the price of Chipotle, and some of their items have much larger portion sizes, making them a wise choice for the student body’s favorite. Apex High administrator, Rodney Smith commented, “I’m a Moe’s guy. They say, ‘Welcome to Moe’s,’ and it gets me every time.”

Everyone knows the controversy that has plagued Chipotle for years: E. Coli. It’s been two years, but many cannot forget the food poisoning scandal, and list it as a deciding factor in whether or not they eat there. In fact, Chipotle has been struggling to expand as a result even now. However, Junior Jillian Brannock, a Chipotle employee, explained, “We get shipments of fresh food constantly, there’s no way that Chipotle doesn’t have fresher food. We’re held accountable because our customers can see us cook the meat, but at Moe’s they cook it in the back.” To date, Moe’s has not had a large food poisoning scandal, and thus is trusted more by consumers.

However, the disparity in quality is also not to be ignored. Chipotle is healthier overall, with better, fresher ingredients.  Moe’s pales in comparison, though is a much better option than BoJangle’s or Wendy’s. In the end, however, it’s up to the student body to decide who they will be spending their forty-five minute lunch period rushing to and from.

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