The Great MC Debate: Chipotle vs. Qdoba

Ashlei Gates | Marlin Chronicle
Ashlei Gates | Marlin Chronicle


By Corey King

Chipotle is hands down better than Qdoba. Yeah, Qdoba gives you more options, but the quality of the food is not nearly as good as the quality you get from Chipotle. The flavor of the food at Chipotle blows Qdoba out of the water. Most people will disagree due to the fact the prices of Chipotle are a bit higher, but just like everything else in the world you, get what you pay for. At Qdoba, you pay less for food that is not as good. At Chipotle, you pay more for food that is good quality, seasoned well and tastes better. There is only one thing that Chipotle could add that would make me enjoy their food even more, and that would be if they added queso.  That is the only thing that Chipotle is missing in the toppings it offers.
Everyone is talking about how they will never eat at Chipotle again due to the E.coli outbreak in the recent past. What people fail to realize is at most chain restaurants, things like this are bound to happen. It has happened to many places before Chipotle, and it will happen to many places after this dies down. Also, you can’t not be a fan of a cooperation that closes its doors to meet with employees and then give out free burritos after they open back up. Hands down, no doubt about it, 100%, Chipotle is better than Qdoba. I will always be a loyal customer to Chipotle.

By Robin Peterson
It’s always astounding to me why people prefer Chipotle over Qdoba. Frankly, every time I drive by a Chipotle, I laugh hysterically at the long line of Chipolteans. It honestly reminds me of some Futurama episode, where a bunch of people are standing in line for what they’re told is an awesome prize, but when they get the prize, it bites them in the butt every time. Seriously though, I was a strict Chipotlean before I moved to the Virginia Beach area and discovered the magic that is Qdoba. Full disclosure, I don’t hate Chipotle’s food, and I will occasionally resign myself to eating the all-too-common burrito bowl, so I will bash the chain instead.
One of the reasons I converted is one I’ve already been mentioned: the horribly long lines one has to endure if she dares to dine at Chipotle. The long lines turn a trip that should basically take 20 minutes, 30-45 if you’re eating in, turns into an hour listening to hipsters and soccer moms order one chicken burrito bowl with no beans and extra guac after another.
Not only is Qdoba attractive because of the lack of long lines, but the price of a meal at Qdoba is also pretty attractive. Actually, I take that back, it’s the most attractive thing about Qdoba. I can get a three-taco combo for about eight dollars, and I’ll be much happier than I would ever be eating a burrito bowl.
One of my absolute favorite things to eat ever is the three cheese nachos. The food that Qdoba offers is a tad more authentic to Mexico and other South and Central American cuisine.
Next is probably not really a fair comparison but still worth mentioning if you’re one of those people that love to have deal, Qdoba, unlike Chipotle, has a customer rewards program. So every four or five purchases, I get a free drink, entrée, side, etc. It’s amazing and it makes me feel loved.
Probably the most obvious argument in this debate: you’re less likely to get E.coli from eating at a Qdoba. Yes, I know, it’s a cheap shot, but it’s impossible to ignore this obvious and easy blow. I mean seriously, three E.coli outbreaks in the span of a few months which force you to close a large portion of your restaurants is not a good look for a national chain, no matter how many free burritos you give away. Now, I’m not saying that an E.coli outbreak will never happen at Qdoba, but Qdoba is all about the freshest food, and I honestly feel more comfortable eating at a Qdoba.
I tend to view eating at Chipotle akin to eating at McDonalds. It’s not something that anyone truly wants to do, but is something that is necessary for people to do. The problem seems to be access. There are simply more Chipotles than there are Qdobas. The brand just has more recognition, E.coli and all.