Image of mexican decorations and the caption "Does Chipotle Hire Felons, Answered."

When it comes to fast food – Mexican-style – most people instantly think of Taco Bell. But that’s been changing a lot in recent years as Chipotle Mexican Grill has been expanding their brand of “fast casual” tacos and “Mission-style” burritos. Named after a hot, dried jalapeno pepper, Chipotle opened it’s first Denver location in 1993 and has grown to over 2,000 restaurants since.

Sponsored Links

With over 45,000 employees, and showing no signs of stopping, Chipotle Mexican Grill is a great way to break into the food industry for those who are interested. But does Chipotle hire felons? Lets find out!

Does Chipotle Hire Felons?

From the research we’ve seen, Chipotle is not against hiring felons, which falls in line with their overall progressive approach to both business and nutrition. They do, in fact, have a somewhat liberal political lean (which, frankly, does make them more “felon friendly” than a lot of corporations). In fact, Chipotle isn’t shy about letting their stances be publicly known, for better or worse.

We haven’t found any instances where they’ve come right out and said they embrace the opportunity to hire convicted felons…but to be honest, it actually wouldn’t surprise us if they did! We have heard from many felons that were hire by Chipotle but as always there are no guarantees that you will get a hired. It is definitely worth your time to put in an application. 

Background Check Limits and Chipotle

It is important to understand that some states have laws regarding how far back a criminal background check can go. This can greatly influence whether Chipotle will hire you or not in some locations. Here are the laws for each state.

Twelve states do not allow any felony conviction information older than seven years to be reported.

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York *
  • Texas *
  • Washington*

(* exceptions based on pay/salary)

Some states will not report court cases where you were found NOT guilty: Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Alaska, California, New York and Michigan.

These states will report unlimited numbers of years back of felony convictions and also report NOT guilty verdicts: Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Felony Expungement – In a number of states it is possible to have your felony conviction either expunged or sealed. Imagine having your record swiped clean! Learn more here.

Working for Chipotle

From front line workers to team leaders, on up to area managers, team directors, and the higher echelons of regional directors and general managers, the Chipotle corporation offers plenty of room for career expansion for those who show initiative and a willingness to commit to the company’s mission and vision.

Famous for almost never, ever changing or expanding their core menu selection, Chipotle is obviously a company that likes predictability and places a very strong value on serving their customers what they want, versus trying to “guess” what they want by altering the menu and experimenting with recipes.

Though never accused of being “healthy,” per se, Chipotle does hold a progressive approach to nutrition, by emphasizing organic over GMO-foods, humane animal treatment practices, and a focus on fresh, vegetarian options. Their phrase for this is “Food With Integrity.”

A felon might rightly gather, then, from reading about Chipotle’s commitment to predictability and integrity that these are the exact same characteristics they like to see in their employees. And you’d be right!

They’re also after folks who are want to grow with them. As the Careers page on their website says, “advancement comes from doing great work and making those around us better. It’s a philosophy that results in quick growth—we’re opening a new restaurant every three days.” Every three days? That’s some rapid expansion!

Unlike many fast food joints, at Chipotle you may actually learn how to cook! They boost of using raw ingredients and making items from scratch, versus pulling premade, chemical-laden food substances from a deep freezer. They’re also dedicated to training and fostering a positive work environment for their employees.

In terms of personality traits, they claim to be after workers who are “curious, polite, presentable, happy, high energy, ambitious, honest, smart, conscientious, and hospitable.” Are these the traits you’re known for? If so, and if you’ve got an interest in working for a fast food company that’s different from their competitors, we recommend giving Chipotle Mexican Grill a try.

Chipotle Enters the Big Leagues

Chipotle has been such a hot commodity that even McDonald’s had invested in it, to the tune of about $360 million. But after failing to coerce the founder, Steve Ells, to do their bidding, McDonald’s pulled their funding. The fact that Ells didn’t back down says a lot about the confidence of the Chipotle management…and the fact that they not only survived but thrived afterwards says even more. Indeed the corporate headquarters just took on a long-term lease in a new Denver skyrise, and Taco Bell’s former CEO has recently taken over as the new boss, ready to lead Chipotle into the next generation. For felons looking for job security, this is one place that you can be assured isn’t going anywhere!

Apart from their U.S.-based spots, the chain has gone international with 26 new restaurants…yet another sign that Chipotle is now officially in the big leagues. That’s good news for ex-convicts looking for work, because it’s always best to get on with a well-established firm versus a small joint with no benefits or opportunities for advancement or training. Another interesting fact about Chipotle is that it isn’t a franchise business. Each store is owned by the corporation itself, thus helping to ensure standardization of policies.

More Felon Friendly Jobs Here!

Legit Online Jobs

Picture of a felon working from home.

Start Your Own Business

Picture of a man holding a sign that says "build your own business and become self employed."

Freelance Jobs

Picture that says "Freelance", these are freelance jobs for felons.