The ICSC Blog

Q & A with Alexandra Dunk, Marketing Manager at Boloco

Teriyaki

What is the concept of Boloco?
“We are a family of 22 restaurants serving globally inspired burritos, bowls, smoothies, and shakes. Our mission is to positively impact the lives and futures of Our People through bold and inspired food and practices. We believe that we can achieve that impact with a burrito, so we say that even a burrito aspires.”

Describe who your customer is.
“We think (and hope!) that we appeal to everyone. We are committed to offering our guests options, which broadens our appeal. For example, we offer bowls and burritos, we offer different sizes, and every menu item is completely customizable.”

Tell us what you think draws people to your restaurant.
“We hold ourselves to high expectations and we strive to wow our guests with our innovative food, our service, and the atmosphere in our restaurants. We want our restaurants to be somewhere you want to hang out and to be a part of the community.”

What are the space criteria for your locations?
“We would look for 2000 to 2400 square feet. And, speaking to our identity, the personality of the space and its place in the community are important as well.”

There are so many different menu items to choose from. Which are most popular and why?
“The Buffalo (spicy buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, celery, boloco rice) is definitely a top seller and The Cajun (roasted corn salsa, creole sour cream, black beans, boloco rice) is a guest favorite, but our guests also love the option to “goloco,” or put together their own globally inspired concoctions. Our guests have come up with some pretty inventive creations over the years.”

What role, if any, do customers play in deciding which burrito flavors are created?
“We always take our guests’ feedback into consideration! In the past, there have been flavors that we rolled out as limited time offerings and guests enjoyed them so much that we made them permanent menu items – a great example of this is the Tikka Masala burrito and bowl. We also love to get our guests involved in the menu development process. For example, we held a contest via social media to name our new limited time smoothie, the Tropi-Kale. We have unbelievably creative guests and we want their input!”

What times during the day and which days during the week do you see an increase in customer traffic?
“Lunchtime is always a busy one, especially Monday – Friday when you have working professionals stopping in, but each location has its own busy times depending on where they are located. Our Boston locations are really busy during the school year, particularly the ones near college campuses.”

How are you using technology/social media to enhance the Boloco experience?
“Our mantra is that we’re “always listening,” especially via social media. Guest feedback is so key. Whether a guest emails, tweets, Instagrams, or posts on Yelp or Facebook about their experience at boloco, we respond to any and all feedback. Social media is a great and quick way to know how we’re doing. We really do take our guests’ experiences to heart. We work to make it right with the guest if the situation calls for it, or to give kudos to team members that went above and beyond.”

What’s next for Boloco? Where are you looking to expand?
“What’s next for us? We always have something up our sleeve ;) We have some new menu items in the works with our Director of Culinary, Eric Kinniburgh (aka the Good Food Dude).

As for our next location, we are always taking suggestions. We would love to open more locations in New England and stay close to our roots as a Boston Local Company.”

What other retailer adjacencies do you see next to you?
“Specifically within the burrito space, the easy answer would be Chipotle, Qdoba, & other more mom-and-pop burrito joints. But really, you have a lot of retailers operating within the “fast casual” space, including: Panera, Sweetgreen, Protein Bar, Pret a Manger, and many more.”

For more information about Boloco, check out the official website.

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