The lawsuit alleges Chipotle has caused consumer losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars.By Pam Surano

PINE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — A lawsuit alleges a well-known restaurant chain is keeping change instead of returning it to customers.

The lawsuit alleges Chipotle Mexican Grill has caused consumer losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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One of the complaints came from a customer at the Pine Township Chipotle on Perry Highway. It is not the first complaint either. The Attorney General’s Office says, so far, they’ve received five similar complaints.

(Photo Credit: Bryce Lutz/KDKA)

Another example in the lawsuit cites Chipotle in Hampton, where customers were allegedly not given the proper change they were entitled to. Chipolte has 96 restaurants statewide, including many here in the Pittsburgh area, where the lawsuit originated.

“It has become very clear that this is a top-down directive from the corporation, this is how they should handle this situation,” said attorney Frank Salpietro.

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Salpietro says he expects the restaurant chain to defend its actions by blaming the national coin shortage.

“I understand that the pandemic is affecting all of us. But that doesn’t give Chipolte the license to line its own pockets at the expense of consumers, particularly when you hide behind a coin shortage to justify taking more money than you should,” said Salpietro.

In one example listed in the lawsuit, a woman says she went to the Chipotle in Hampton and her bill was $15.51. She paid with a $20 bill and received $4 even though she was owed $4.49.

“What we’ve learned is that they are telling people after they order their food and give their money to the cashier that they don’t have any change so they are not going to be able to give you the change,” said Salpietro.

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Attorney Salpietro said this can really impact people who can least afford it, such as customers who may not have access to credit or debit cards. He is calling for a jury trial.