Chipotle Now Serving Great Writing As A Free Side Dish
Have you ever run out to grab lunch alone, only to realize you didn’t bring your phone or a book or a magazine or anything to read while you eat? It’s super awkward and boring, right? Author Jonathan Safran Foer thought so too, while eating a burrito at Chipotle one day. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,” he told Vanity Fair of his solo lunch experience, which might sound a tad dramatic, but hey, he’s a writer, give him a break. Anyway, Foer decided to do something to ensure no one else ever had to suffer through a burrito bowl without some good reading material, so he emailed the CEO of Chipotle, Steve Ells.
“I said, ‘I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day,'” Foer recalls, “‘and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text.’ And unlike McDonald’s, it’s not like [Chipotle was] selling their surfaces to the highest bidder. They had nothing on their bags. So I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to just put some interesting stuff on it? Get really high-quality writers of different kinds, creating texts of different kinds that you just give to your customers as a service.'”
What Jonathan Safran Foer wants, Jonathan Safran Foer gets. Ells loved the idea, and starting this week, all Chipotle cups and bags will be adorned with original writing from such literary heavyweights as Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, and George Saunders. Each selection was made to be read in about two minutes, so you won’t have to linger long after your guac is gone to finish reading. Check out Foer’s piece below, and read the rest of the Chipotle literature over at Vanity Fair (or next time you buy a burrito).
Two-Minute Personality Test
What’s the kindest thing you almost did? Is your fear of insomnia stronger than your fear of what awoke you? Are bonsai cruel? Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? Your earliest memories: do you look though your young eyes, or look at your young self? Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong as you were doing it? Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter? Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone? How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life? What would you tell your father, if it were possible? Which is changing faster, your body, or your mind? Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis? Are you in any way angry at your phone? When you pass a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither? Is there anything you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it? If you could be assured that money wouldn’t make you any small bit happier, would you still want more money? What has been irrevocably spoiled for you? If your deepest secret became public, would you be forgiven? Is your best friend your kindest friend? Is it any way cruel to give a dog a name? Is there anything you feel a need to confess? You know it’s a “murder of crows” and a “wake of buzzards” but it’s a what of ravens, again? What is it about death that you’re afraid of? How does it make you feel to know that it’s an “unkindness of ravens”?