When Chris Piwinski was getting ready to pop the question to his high school sweetheart, Natalie Neach, he thought about the last 12 years of their lives. What place saw them through routine lunches and dinners? Where did they go for various relationship milestones? Through every school dance, breakup, and make-up, only one place was there: the Chipotle in Elk Grove, California. Thus, the Sacramento-area native thought it was just the perfect spot to propose.
"We've done every type of dinner there. We've done pre-homecoming dinners, everything. It's one of the core foundations of our relationship, like 100 percent," Piwinski told The Daily Meal about his decision. Although there were countless gorgeous places in Northern California he could have picked to propose, the Yale University grad realized that none were as important to their relationship as the Mexican-style fast-casual restaurant. "There are so many picturesque spots, but I really thought of it and I realized, Chipotle! It has to be a Chipotle," he said.
From there, Piwinski - who counts a steak burrito with extra white rice, no beans, corn salsa, hot salsa, cheese, and sour cream as his go-to order, developed a plan. He reached out to a brand PR manager who helped him set the whole thing up for a magical dinner after a day of visiting their favorite places, sweet love notes, and wine-tasting. Chipotle hired a photographer, provided a cake and balloons, and even hid the couple's friends and family in the pizza shop next door to surprise Neach, who typically orders Chipotle's chicken burrito bowl with black beans, corn salsa, mild salsa, and sour cream. Piwinski didn't hide the ring in his fiancÃ©e's burrito bowl as everyone suspected. "Everybody was wondering if I bit into it at some point, but that didn't happen," Neach told The Daily Meal, laughing.
Instead, with Ed Sheeran's "Kiss Me" cued up, Piwinski slid his sweetheart a note saying he was going to propose and knelt down on one knee to reveal an engagement ring, which he'd bought from Neach's grandparents' favorite jeweler. The whole event was live-streamed to Neach and Piwinski's family and friends waiting next door, and filmed by Chipotle managers, who Piwinski said executed the plan "perfectly."
When asked if Chipotle will have a role in the actual wedding, Neach didn't rule it out, as Chipotle chips are her favorite. "I love Chipotle dearly, I don't know about catering the whole wedding, but I'm totally down to have a chips and guac or salsa bar," she said.
Maybe Cardi B, who was just gifted a lifetime supply of chips and guac, can give the couple a few of her coupons as a wedding present. This sweet engagement story is just one of the 12 ways Chipotle is winning back our trust.