Can You Have a Beard at Chipotle? (2022 Employee Facial Hair Policies)

Year after year Chipotle Mexican Grill tops the fast-food burrito charts, but how do they rank in the beard department? Most bearded employees give them a thumbs up.

Chipotle employees can have beards as long as they are kept trimmed and well-maintained. There aren’t any official limits on beard length, although individual restaurants may set their own rules. You may also be required to wear a beard guard to ensure no whiskers end up in a customer’s meal.

If you want to learn more about Chipotle’s facial hair policy, read on!

Are Chipotle employees allowed to have facial hair, beards, or mustaches?

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall and scope out a company before you interview or commit? You can! Sorta. A great way to get a glimpse of a company’s beard culture is to look at the company website and social media pages. Do you see facial hair in any pictures? If so, that’s a good sign that yours will be welcome too.

Chipotle employees are allowed to have facial hair, beards, or mustaches as long as they are clean, neat, and “tamed.” Lengthy hair and beards should be kept out of the way of food.

Chipotle’s website features burrito makers with beards in the scruff to short range. In practice, longer beards are accepted at some locations. 

Do you have to shave your beard to work at Chipotle?

Beards have made their presence known in most parts of the country and don’t seem to be going anywhere. Most employers have come to expect bearded employees and Chipotle is no exception.

You do not have to shave your beard to work at most Chipotle locations. Local food safety regulations may require your beard to be covered while on duty. 

Fun Fact: One thing that is required at Chipotle is a set of chain mail gloves if you are chopping ingredients. If you cut yourself without them, your store can be fined $5,000. Chain mail + beards = some serious Game of Thrones vibes.

Can you have a beard when working with food?

If you operate a restaurant or eat in one, you know that food safety is of prime importance. 

While individual restaurants can make their own rules about beards, local health inspection agencies offer guidance. Most health departments allow beards while preparing and cooking food as long as they are restrained with a beard guard.

Some employees report that management isn’t concerned about keeping beards covered unless they have been written up during an inspection.

Do you have to wear a beard net at Chipotle?

It’s not very appetizing to pull a short curly out of your taco, so are you required to wear a beard net behind the counter? On paper, yes. In reality, maybe not.

While some Chipotle employees report beard nets are worn once a beard gets to a certain length, others say beard nets aren’t enforced unless there has been an issue.

A glance at reported food safety violations at random Chipotle locations shows the absence of beard guards is a common “non-priority” inspection violation. The stated fix for this violation is a beard guard. However, one employee reported that beard guards were not used at her store because they were seen as “unprofessional” in the serving line.

Official Chipotle facial hair policy in 2022

An official Chipotle employee handbook is hard to locate. Even employees report they’ve had some difficulties finding grooming policies in black and white. Managers and staff members are the main sources of specifics. 

Currently, Chipotle allows neatly trimmed facial hair. Long hair must be securely pulled back and restrained with a uniform hat. Unnaturally colored hair is acceptable if covered with a hat.

While one-off situations of beard avoidance are discussed on employment boards, the overriding consensus is that beards are welcomed as long as you take care of them.

Can you be fired for growing a beard at Chipotle?

So what does it take to get the ax at Chipotle? Could your beard be a cause? Probably not.

Chipotle typically follows a three-violation-and-you’re-fired rule. Since beards are permitted according to their official policy, a beard alone shouldn’t be a fireable offense. However, a dirty, neglected beard could be a food safety hazard resulting in disciplinary action.

Employees report that warnings are given if they show up to work with an unacceptable appearance. 

Does facial hair policy vary at different Chipotle locations?

It’s hard to believe someone could be anti-beard, but it does happen on occasion. Personal preferences and the fear of customer complaints can sway some managers to the dark side of bead prohibition. Luckily, it seems these instances are few and far between at Chipotle.

Facial hair policy can vary at different Chipotle locations according to past and present employees. Beard length is up to store managers and field leaders.

Chipotle stores seem to be all over the board regarding facial hair. One employee claimed all facial hair must measure in under one-quarter inch while others say the only requirement at their store is “beards longer than an inch must be covered.” Another stated he had sported a beard for over 6 months and out of the blue was told he would have to shave.

Are there exemptions for beards and mustaches at Chipotle?

If your religion dictates the length of your beard, is Chipotle still a viable option? What happens if you have a skin condition and can’t shave? 

To stay in compliance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws, exemptions for facial hair may be granted due to religious, cultural, or medical reasons. 

Chipotle does have a track record of trying to find solutions to cultural issues. Employees that had full heads of hair, including those with dreadlocks felt the standard uniform caps were too restricting. Chipotle tried to solve the problem by providing a backless version. While many employees found the design humorous, it shows Chipotle’s readiness to be accommodating.

Religious or cultural beliefs

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Facial hair can be an expression of one’s religion or nationality and Chipotle recognizes this.

Chipotle does recognize and offer reasonable accommodations for beards grown for religious or cultural reasons.

While beard accommodations are often made, health and safety precautions are still enforced. Employees are still required to keep their beards clean, trimmed, and covered.

Medical reasons

Skin conditions like pseudofolliculitis barbae can cause painful, inflamed sores to occur after shaving. Employees plagued with this medical problem can still be employed even if their facial hair policy limits beards.

Chipotle does allow reasonable accommodations for facial hair growth for employees suffering from certain medical conditions. Medical verification is often required for approval.

Offering exemptions and being reasonable can save employers big money in the long run.

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