Panchero’s preps for IC-favorite $1 burrito day


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Imagine the rush of Black Friday, people lining up hours before, ready to snag those highly advertised sensational deals. Now apply that scene to a small burrito parlor.

Today, Panchero’s Mexican Grill, 32 S. Clinton St., will welcome everyone and anyone willing to line up for a burrito for a mere $1 with its Dollar Day Burrito event from 2-4 p.m.

Between advertising, ordering the necessary supplies and ingredients, and general organization, preparation has been in full swing since last weekend as workers put in extra hours to ensure they can tackle the anticipated insanity. Patrick Shanahan, the Panchero’s general manager, said the restaurant has ordered 1,000 pounds of meat along with 150 pounds of cheese.

“Dollar Burrito Day is the most fun day of the year,” he said. “All the employees are here, and it’s pretty exciting to see everybody. It’s definitely going to be crazy. The line’s always super long, it can be hard to get everybody through and stay stocked and stay prepped.”

Today, in addition to the entire Panchero’s staff, roughly 25 additional employees will work with managers from other business locations in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids to ensure necessary service, he said.

“Some of the workers have done it before, so they know how stressful it can be and how much work it’s going to be, but they know it’s also fun,” Shanahan said. “We’re catching up on our rest in order to prepare.”

Jay “JayJay” Goodvin, the local marketing director or “Burrito Relations specialist” for Panchero’s, said the Dollar Day Burrito event is meant to welcome back returning students to Iowa City and introduce new students to the establishment’s Mexican cuisine.

“It’s a great thing to do because we have such a loyal following, so it’s basically just a huge appreciation for all the students that come back and the community in general,” he said.

But the event is also a competitive one. The Panchero’s in Ames will go up against the Iowa City Panchero’s to see which can sell the most burritos. “Last year, we sold 1,200, and we want to beat that, so we’re shooting to sell between 1,300 and 1,500,” Goodvin said. “It’s an endeavor, but this staff is used to it. They’re pros at it. I’m sure the general manager’s going to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off.” He anticipates another victory for the Iowa City store, he said.

UI junior business major Tony Santacroce, a Panchero’s fan, said he is planning on participating in the event by lining up at 2 p.m.

“It’s quick, good food, and pretty good for the money,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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