By Ellis Williams
Eight years ago, El Patio owner Alejandro Castro developed a restaurant concept he believed would be profitable in Eau Claire — a sit down mexican restaurant with a full bar and menu that served only burritos after 10 p.m.
He was right.
So right in fact, that in 2014, his small eatery that was making burritos in a crowded kitchen moved to its current location, 408 Water St., with a completely remodeled bar and full burrito assembly line.
Thus Burrito Express was born, but Castro’s concept wasn’t complete just yet. His new chain was missing one thing: delivery.
“Delivery is the new trend,” Castro said. “We can make burritos quickly and now we have a way to deliver them quickly and efficiently.”
Castro’s longtime dream culminated with the requests of university students. Starting Monday, El Patio/Burrito Express will officially offer delivery for its burrito menu and side items.
A popular late night destination for Water Street visitors, El Patio/Burrito Express plans on bringing its signature burritos to any customer’s doorstep who lives within a two-mile radius of the restaurant.
Castro said he wishes he could bring burritos to anyone in Eau Claire who orders, but because their system is new and the ultimate goal is to deliver fresh burritos in a timely, efficient and safe manner, a larger radius was unrealistic.
The price of a burrito remains the same, but Castro said a $1.50 fee is set for now but is subject to change.
Just as Castro sees food delivery as the future of the restaurant industry, he said a delivery system of his liking is not possible without technology.
Castor said El Patio/Burrito Express delivery orders can be placed online and on the restaurant’s mobile app, giving customers the flexibility of placing orders they want delivered immediately or future orders.
And unlike many other food delivery options, Castro said El Patio/ Burrito Express will deliver until 3 a.m.
With the recent cold weather and overall convenience of late night burritos, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire junior Michael Priefer said he’s eager to use El Patio/Burrito Express delivery system.
“My friends and I are all excited about it because it’s super chill and useful,” Priefer said. “I know people that are already trying to place delivery orders.”
With a trial week of delivering burritos already underway, Castro said he is confident his new system will be a hit after seeing the continuing success of chains like Jimmy John’s.
“This concept is going to work,” Castro said. “Because we’ll make it fast, deliver it safely and it’s fresh.”