Burrito Loco offers texting service for ‘loyal customers’

Signing up for the service gives students the chance to win various prizes.

When a customer walks into Burrito Loco, they could end up leaving with more than a burrito and a beer.

With so many college students using text messaging to keep in touch with friends and family, Burrito Loco Bar and Grill has started offering a text message service to its customers.

The service, which allows customers the chance to win free bar tabs, food and other promotions, started three weeks ago, Burrito Loco co-owner John Pillsbury said.

He said a couple hundred people are currently signed up for the service and said the participants will not receive a lot of text messages.

“They will get one a week for a promotion we are having,” Pillsbury said.

He said the message will have Burrito Loco as the sender so the person will know where it’s coming from.

The idea for the service came from sitting around with other businesses and realizing how many people use text messaging on campus, he said.

“Everyone text messages nowadays,” Pillsbury said.

It is a way for the restaurant to reward its “loyal” customers, Pillsbury said. The ideas for the once-a-week promotions come from what he and other employees think the customers would want. Once someone signs up for the service, they will receive a text message for the next promotion, he said.

Even with services offered by the University such as TXT-U, and other businesses trying to get into the text-messaging field, there are potential problems with this trend.

“Mobile phone spam” – where solicitors send junk text messages to a person’s mobile phone – is becoming a recent problem.

Pillsbury said the bar’s text service is not advertised or pushed onto customers. Instead, they must request to sign up by asking a server or manager about it. If the person does not want text messages sent to their phone, they can choose to have the promotions be sent to their e-mail, he said.

Pillsbury said the restaurant hasn’t had any issues with customers being upset about privacy since the start of the program.

“Their number is not sold to other companies,” he said. “It is only used by Burrito Loco.”

If someone wants to unsubscribe from the service, they can go to the Web site and send an e-mail requesting to unsubscribe or talk to a manager at the restaurant, he said.

Patrons have varying opinions on the new service.

University alumnus Jacob Lorenz said he signed up for Burrito Loco’s service two weeks ago with a friend but is the only one who remembers signing up for the service. However, Lorenz said he has yet to receive a text message from the restaurant or any other restaurants.

“Maybe I gave them the wrong number,” Lorenz said, “I don’t really remember.”

Communications senior Josh Johnson said he hasn’t signed up for the service yet, but has heard of it while at Burrito Loco.

“I just don’t think it was right for me,” he said.