Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stop Stealing My Pennies

This week it came to light that Chipotle, in the interest of time, is rounding checks paid in cash for some of their restaurants. Chipotle claims they aren't making money on the scheme of rounding each check to the nearest nickel, cutting out the lowly penny. I would be ok with this concept if they rounded down, but they don't. They round up and down, claiming it is a wash.

I can't help about the tens of thousands of Chipotle transactions per day. Let's say they make a penny on each. Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. And that is being conservative.

When you charge me even a penny more than what is due, that is not a wash. That is stealing my pennies. Yes, yes, I know it is *just* a penny. My argument is those pennies are mine and they add up. By March, I expect to have enough for a Shamrock Shake.

Chipotle is being lazy. It doesn't take any more time or effort to give someone two pennies as it does a nickel. Sadly, the tasty chain restaurant is not the first to employ this tactic.

I was a server for *years* putting myself through school, scraping by. As a server, restaurants require you to bring your own "bank" so you can make change for your tables and not bug the managers. Usually the only change managers wouldn't get snarly about was for a $50 or a $100 bill on your first table. If you asked your manager for coin change you could count yourself on oil changing duty. Based on experience, I can assure you, cleaning out the fryer oil is no fun task.

Lazy servers had no time for change, forgot their bank or just didn't care. Most of the servers I worked with would round in your favor, some only carrying quarters with them (very convenient for laundry). The hope was you would leave them the quarters in addition to your tip. I however, never did this. Those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters add up. I save my change all year, toss it in my piggy bank and that pays for my vacation.

Fair warning, if you steal my pennies I will call you out on it.

Have you had an experience with change thievery? Leave me a comment.

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