The Madison Common Council has introduced legislation to institute a city-wide ordinance that would eliminate extra charges for guacamole at restaurants. The text of the proposed mandate reads, “no restaurant operating within the city of Madison shall charge its customers extra for any amount of guacamole under 2 tablespoons for burritos or tacos, or as a side for chips.”
“Anyone who has gone to Chipotle knows the pain of turning down a scoop of guac on their burrito,” said Council member Mark Spiretti. “No one deserves to choose between their love of guacamole and their bank account. It is an unfair sacrifice.”
Chipotle, a Mexican chain restaurant, has often been the target of criticisms for charging extra for their popular guacamole. In January of this year, guitarist Seth Blake, protesting at the Women’s March in New York City, held a sign reading “WHY IS GUAC EXTRA?” in front of a Chipotle. Blake’s sign received praise for “uniting people of all identities and creeds, unlike all these damn feminists,” according to a comment on a Reddit thread.
Chipotle, however, is not the only restaurant that charges extra for guacamole. Some local restaurants, such as Burrito Drive, charge extra for guacamole on burritos that do not already come with the topping.
The proposal has been met with overwhelming support from students. Recently, a student-led protest took to the streets of downtown Madison. Its participants, clad in green, organized sit-ins at local food establishments, demanding them to stop charging extra for guac. Chants of “we walk for free guac” resounded throughout State Street as protesters reportedly distributed pamphlets titled “The Conquest of Guac” to passersby.
“It’s 2017; guac should not be extra,” said Kenneth Selinsky, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin and supporter of the guac mandate. “It’s about time people realize that guac is our right, not a privilege.”
In addition to the protests, several Madison restaurants have been raided of their guacamole ingredients and supplies. The unrest has troubled local businesses, who spoke of young people posing as employees and running off with several trays of the dip.
Several local restaurant owners have cited the potential burden such a mandate would bring to their business.
“We understand the concern and we want the community to know that we hear them,” said Hernán Mendez, manager of a local Mexican restaurant. “But avocados aren’t cheap, and making such a switch to free guac could potentially run us into the red. We are willing to listen to consumers to charge a less-burdensome price for guacamole.”
Those who overheard Mendez’s comments reacted with a chorus of booing and “fuck yous."
The Madison Common Council is expected to vote on the proposal, dubbed the “mandatory minimum guac” bill, in several weeks.