Monday, August 4, 2008

How to weave a story, boloco style

My last three visits to boloco have been filled with snippets of the story the burrito chain is trying to tell me. Instead of telling me outright, they've been leaving clues and I'm finding it an interesting approach. Normally restaurants tell you what their story is on a plaque, in a brochure or on the back of a menu. There's no such thing at boloco. Instead their story has been unfolding in the actions they choose to take.

The first time I visited I noticed a sign on the door Member of Dine Green. Dine Green is a non-profit dedicated to helping restaurants become more environmentally sustainable. On my second visit I noticed that boloco only uses naturally raised chicken, beef and pork in their burritos (as noted on the menu). And the third time I visited I noticed that written on my smoothie cup was the message This cup grew up in Blair, Nebraska. It really did. It's made entirely of corn. It's 100% compostable. It will disappear no matter what you do with it.

It took me three times to fully hear the boloco story, but it was an interactive experience. I gained more from it than I would have reading a corporate statement. I'm not saying corporate statements are bad, and boloco might even benefit from being more outward with its story. But a story with no obvious action doesn't work either, and its within its actions that boloco excels.

1 comment:

Peter Kim said...

Valerie - I agree, the subtle approach allows people to "discover," which is fun. In-N-Out in California also does this well. However, the only boloco that I'm familiar with in Natick has a big poster in its foyer, talking about the company's history. And O'Naturals in Acton isn't subtle at all, yet the story is pretty interesting...