Chipotle by Proshob (CC BY-SA)

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Move over, swimsuit season, because burrito season is where it's at. 

Every year from March to May, customers flock to Chipotle (and probably other burrito chains) in some sort of burrito feeding frenzy. The company attributes the phenomenon to various factors, some of which seem dubious at best. Nicer weather and more daylight? If you say so. School in session for college students? I'd buy that one. But it's almost certainly not because consumers are worried about having a beach body for the upcoming swimsuit season, given the 1,300 calories wrapped up in each burrito.

Regardless of the reason for the season, Chipotle is preparing for this year's burrito spree by hiring a staggeringly large number of workers. Fifteen thousand new hires are needed to fill positions at the chain's roughly 3,100 North American locations. The company now employs about 100,000 workers, so the increase in the size of its workforce will be substantial.

@berrymakenna Is it just me, or did @Chipotle quadruple their prices overnight. What are you putting in this shizzz to make it worth $20. #chipotle #overpriced #quickstory ♬ original sound - Makenna Silbernagel • Fit

With massive layoffs in everything from tech to retail, it's unusual to hear about a company adding a significant number of employees. But the last couple of years have been good for Chipotle, and long-term plans call for more than doubling the number of locations to 7,000. Chipotle added more than 200 restaurants in 2022 and expects to open 285 this year. The new store openings will require many more employees, with or without a spring burrito boom.

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Chipotle recorded a $260 million profit in the third quarter, up more than 20% compared with 2021, but the increase comes on the tail of raising its menu prices multiple times since the pandemic began. With burrito prices approaching $14 at some locations, customers are more likely to feel like they're getting ripped off unless the burrito is the size of a small baby. 

With as much complaining about high prices and small portion sizes as Chipotle customers are doing on social media these days, it remains to be seen whether 2023's burrito season will be a boom or a bust.

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