Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chipotle Round Up!

Pennies are dumb.  Giving change in pennies is pretty useless.

So, Chipotle (that froo-froo burrito place Sam Wilson eats at every day) decided to stop giving change in pennies.  If it's 3 or 4 cents, they round UP, and if it's 1 or 2 cents they round down, on the bill. 

For example, if Wilson's skinny chai latte decaf burrito and lavender tea comes to $9.34, they charge $9.35.  If instead he goes nuts and gets his favorite, the double tofu gluten-free "Barbie Doll" burrito, and it's $11.91, they charge $11.90.  Same for the top half:  bill ends in 6 or 7, round down, bill ends in 8 or 9 round up.  Number ending in 0 or 5 don't have to be rounded, because you can give change in nickels.

In terms of expected value, this policy should be revenue neutral (unless all the prices end in 9, which is possible, of course).

Question:  If the company did this, and you are as likely to receive two cents as to lose two cents, but EVERYONE saves time.  Is there a problem?

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?