Dos Toros Rolls Out an App That Literally Just Gives Away Burritos

No such thing as a free lunch? Mex chain offers 10 a day

Burrito Time sends a push notification that burritos are up for grabs for the first 10 people who respond. Dos Toros Taqueria

Burritos are pretty important in the American psyche. A recent survey commissioned by Moe’s Southwest Grill determined that 72 percent of millennials eat two to three of them a week. Taco Bell has reported serving over 1 billion burritos a year. There is a National Burrito Day (April 5) and a singular state that leads the nation in consuming Chipotle burritos—Wyoming, of all places. Even the United States Department of Energy has warmed to the popularity of the gut-busting tortilla wrap by determining that the 148,600,000 BTUs the average American expends in a year equates to 31,226 burritos.

Now comes news that the small but growing Dos Toros Taqueria chain—it has 18 locations in New York and Chicago—will be doing its part to assist the citizenry with its burrito consumption, not via the typical loyalty card or discounting, but by giving burritos away for nothing.

OK, just 10 of them a day. In two cities. But still.

Today marks the launch of Burrito Time, a new app that randomly selects a time to send a push notification that free lunch is in the offing. The first 10 people to respond will receive a gift card good for one burrito, guacamole included (a nice touch, since guac is extra).

So, a new app—what’s the big deal? Dos Toros has taken a notably different approach here in that its app is unencumbered by feature bloat. There’s no order-ahead component, no loyalty discounts and not even a menu to scroll through. The thing simply hands out burritos.

“You Won!” reads your phone screen if you’re among the first 10 respondents. Below that is a red button to “claim your burrito.” You press it and … that’s it.

Brothers Leo and Oliver Kremer, who grew up eating Mission-style burritos in Berkeley, Calif., and started Dos Toros in 2009, explained that they were turned off by all the “super complicated apps” out there and figured that creating a simple one might actually get them more attention. They wager that Dos Toros’ lunch app might even be the one push notification customers “will actually enjoy.”

They also gave a hat tip to HQ Trivia, the game-show app that got millions of office workers to drop what they were doing every day at 3 p.m. to answer questions like “What is the more common plural form for octopus?”

“HQ succeeded in reprogramming peoples’ schedules,” Leo Kremer said. “We wanted to replicate that, even if we could just own 10 seconds.”

@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.