A group of five employees at an Austin, Texas Chipotle quit their jobs earlier this month over "impossible" work conditions and staffing shortages, according to Insider. The group included a general manager who had worked there for five years.
"My store was severely understaffed, we struggled just to keep our heads above water," said one of the employees, Peter Guerra, who added that he was regularly scheduled to work 80 hours a week and often had to do more in order to cover for other employees who quit.
"I thought, 'this is literally going to kill me if I keep it up,'" said Guerra, who added that the constant pressure to serve so many customers at once made him feel like he had been set up to fail. He hit his breaking point on November 13, when online orders began stacking up as a line of customers stretched to the door.
Chipotle stores operate with two food-prep lines: one for customers who order on-site and another for digital orders. Some Chipotle workers have previously told Insider that it's hard to keep up with the rapid rate at which digital orders stack up.
Without enough workers to serve everyone, Guerra closed the dining room to focus only on digital orders.
The next day, he quit - along with kitchen manager James Williams who was "stretched infinitely too thin."
According to Guerra, customers were sympathetic.
"They could see the burnout on our faces," he said.
A total of five employees confirmed with Insider that they had walked out. Meanwhile Chipotle said that the location had been reopened.
"The Parmer Lane location was temporarily closed on Monday due to available labor, but reopened Tuesday with normal business hours," according to a spokesperson, who added: "In a few minor instances, there have been challenges with available labor, so we made adjustments in these restaurants to temporarily accommodate the needs of the business."