Boloco’s Mea Culpa on our 19th Birthday

BOLOCO FRIENDS AND FAMILY,

If you read nothing else, please know this… for our current Boloco Passport loyalists, it’s essentially FREE BURRITO DAY today 2/24 through Monday 2/29. To get yours, update your Boloco Passport app and head to your nearest Boloco or order on-line…$10 awaits you. Yup, $10 means you can likely get a cookie for free too while you’re at it.

That said, you may want to read on. Some big changes have just been made… and if you aren’t yet a Boloco Passport holder and want to get your freebie, you’re kind of stuck with me for a few minutes.


OUR ‘MEA CULPA’ ON REWARDS

Since I have your attention… a short story. Or perhaps a ‘mea culpa’…you decide.

Today is our Birthday…Boloco is now 19. Adam, Gregg, Jason and I opened our first restaurant at the Berklee College of Music on February 24, 1997. We had little idea what we were getting into… but learned quickly what things about building a business were most important to us.

Jason, Gregg, John and Adam in 1997

While the debate about who makes the best (and now safest) burrito rages on, Boloco’s purpose has always been to better the lives and futures of our people using a damn tasty burrito to do it. We like to say “even a burrito aspires”.

For many reasons we founders eventually left Boloco in the hands of others. In 2013, after 16 years, I was the last of the original four to leave.

2014 and 2015 were difficult years for Boloco. Many decisions were made that threatened its very existence. Perhaps the biggest decision that ultimately had the most harmful consequences was taking our once best-in-the-restaurant-business loyalty program and forcing you, our customers, to switch to a barely-worth-using rewards scheme. When I repurchased Boloco last summer after a 2-year hiatus and retook the reins as CEO, among other things I knew this could not stand.


NEW BOLOCO PASSPORT REWARDS

Effective at sunrise this morning, we turned back the clock. Once again, Boloco now offers perhaps the most generous rewards program in the restaurant industry (Starbucks gave us a run for their money, until yesterday unfortunately)

Here’s what you can look forward to when you download and use the Boloco Passport (iOS or Android) to pay:

If you are a NEWBIE and are signing up for the first time:

  • $5 off your first purchase
  • $10 credit on your birthday (get a cookie with that freebie!)
  • You immediately become a GOOD VIBE and start earning credit with your purchases (see below)

If you are OLD HAT to the Boloco Passport:

  • You know that VIBE stands for “VERY IMPORTANT BURRITO EATER.” Or BOWL eater, if you prefer. Either way, a VIBE is you.
  • GOOD VIBES (1–50 visits per year) now get $5 for every $50 spent just for signing up and paying with the Boloco Passport (it’s been a measly $2.50 since 2014)
  • SUPER VIBES (over 50 visits/yr) now get $7.50 for every $50 spent, as well as an annual Boloco Passport Anniversary burrito.
  • UBER VIBES (over 150 visits/yr) get a whopping $10 for every $50 spent, in addition to all your Good and Super VIBE rewards. (and yes, we named this before I became a part-time Uber/Lyft driver)
  • REFERRALS — You’ll now earn $5 for every friend you refer (up from $2… yup, we were being lame)

And what about TODAY, our 19th Birthday?!?

  • OLD HAT PEOPLE — $10 magically appeared on your Boloco Passport overnight. Good through Monday 2/29. Yes, it’s basically free burrito day…plus free cookie day. So go.
  • NEWBIES — download and sign up today, get your $5 for signing up and use the Passport before Monday 2/29, and receive another $5 on 3/1. Magic for you, too.

Boloco has many more improvements to come in 2016. We started with our team in January, and with today’s changes we are doing our best to make sure that our most loyal customers feel truly valued and appreciated once again.

We’ll continue to make mistakes, disappoint, and sometimes even lose people altogether, but we’ll also be more committed than ever on giving all of you the very best possible food, experience, and value possible. And… as importantly, if you ever have anything to say about what we are doing at Boloco, please just say it. Be loud, be obnoxious, be honest… but do please say it because we really are listening and, in the end, want you simply to be happy.

Thank you for a wild (aka loco) 19 years…on we go!

John Pepper (CEO & Co-Founder)