Burrito Face-Off: Chipotle Versus Freebirds
Both of these chains specialize in the “create your own burrito” business model and use natural ingredients. Nonetheless, each has acquired its own devoted following.
People are generally loyal to one and argue that their favorite is superior, but what are the key differences between the seemingly similar grub?
Offerings: Freebirds wins for variety hands down. From size offerings to fillings, Freebirds simply has way more choices. They offer four sizes for their burritos and four flavors: spinach, cayenne, flour, and wheat. Admittedly, there is not a substantial difference in taste between the different burritos, but the choice is nice.
Freebirds' smallest burrito, the Hybird, is smaller than Chipotle’s hunk of a burrito. Their next size up, the Freebird, is slightly larger. Freebirds has two kinds of rice (cilantro lime or Spanish) whereas Chipotle only has cilantro lime. Freebirds has a lot of fillings that Chipotle lacks. This includes queso, refried beans, roasted garlic, a variety of onions, roasted limes, two kinds of cheese, two kinds of lettuce, and more.
Quality: Both places praise themselves for using naturally raised meat. Chipotle has launched a “Food with Integrity” campaign and is really emphasizing their commitment to the best ingredients with respect for the animals, environment, and farmers.
On a similar note, Chipotle is also launching an Earth Day promotion, pairing reusable lunch bags with free burritos. These lunch bags are made from old Chipotle billboards, and with each purchase comes a free burrito on Earth Day (April 22). The bags must be purchased by April 14 and are $18 each.
Taste: The meat at Chipotle is better seasoned. Although Freebirds offers a choice of dark or white meat chicken, both kinds are pretty tasteless in comparison to Chipotle’s well-seasoned chicken. Chipotle marinates their chicken, steak and barbacoa in a smoky, spicy chipotle pepper adobo, and this really makes all the difference.
If Freebirds marinates their meat in anything, it certainly does not taste like it. The vegetables at Chipotle generally taste fresher. The lettuce is definitely crisper at Chipotle and does not get as smushed. Freebirds may win for variety of options, but Chipotle wins for taste in what they do offer.
Contact reporter Julia here.