Boloco gets hate mail for staying open during Hurricane Sandy

Boloco, a Boston local company that serves up green-inspired burritos, wraps, smoothies and more.
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Boloco, a Boston-based burrito chain, told its employees to come in to work Monday despite warnings from state and local leaders that the torrential weather brought by Hurricane Sandy meant that “non-essential employees” should stay home.

As a result, the company reported dozens of “hate mail” messages sent by concerned citizens, like the ones below:

  • “WTF are you bragging about keeping your stores open for? T is closing at 2, let your employees go home! Bad form.”
  • “Let your employees go home! You are ridiculous! I wouldn’t eat there if I was starving, if that’s the way you treat your employees!”
  • “That’s insane. Keep your employees safe. That makes burritos taste better.”
  • “Guess what Boloco – there’s no one in town because most companies care for their employees and told them to stay home.
  • “These “yes, we’re open” emails are starting to make you all look like dirtbags.
  • “What are you a bunch of idiots!!!!! Not only are you putting the lives of your staff at risk, you are now trying to get customers to come in and put
  • their lives at risk. For what????? A couple dollars. You have got to be the biggest bunch of a**holes I’ve ever heard of…”
  • “Well, smarten up, and close! No point in putting employees at risk…”
  • “I’d hate for your employees to have to sleep in the booths in their respective restaurants. Please, please send them home.”

In a “sincere apology” to “customers and friends,” Boloco’s CEO and
founder John Pepper said today: “We sent a ‘fun’ email about an hour ago
to let you know that despite the incoming storm we are, yes, (open) for
business. Since then, we’ve received more hate mail in a 60 minute span
than at any other time.”

Pepper went on to say that the company allowed employees who wanted to go home to do so, and said taxi service was provided.

“I have offered to drive people myself,” he said.

As long as the Boloco “team” considers it safe to be at work, Pepper said, he wants to allow employees a chance to earn an income.

“We have no visions of making great chunks of money today. We won’t. No, we stay open because we employ people on an hourly basis who rely on Boloco being open to pay their bills and care for their families.  When we close, they make no money,” he said.

Read Pepper’s full apology and explanation here.

[View the story "Boloco's Hurricane hate, and homage" on Storify]


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