Would it work? Caleb’s burrito bar

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I heard talk in the few weeks before I came to St Andrews from people (admittedly people who don’t actually live here) about this being the ‘perfect college town’. In a lot of respects I’m inclined to agree with that; the amount of bars, house parties, and the like that we have going on at all hours, combined with the relative sizes of the town and student population, make for a really nice experience.

That said, there is one thing which is definitely missing from our ‘perfect college town’. We’re missing a dietary staple of any student who doesn’t feel like cooking/going through another meal at hall: the quick, easy burrito. It’s a formula which has been perfected in the US at restaurants such as Chipotle, an assembly line-style preparation process designed to get as many customers through as quickly as possible.

Burritos are not difficult to make throw together some rice, beans, meat, cheese, and maybe a few other things if you’re feeling adventurous, into a giant tortilla, wrap it all up and serve. People are willing to pay much more than those ingredients would cost, so there’s room for a good profit margin, especially if the restaurant is in a central location.

In addition, there’s virtually no competition in town. While there are places like the noodle bar or Subway to get a quick takeaway meal, nothing offers the same blend of the delicious taste of TexMex and the convenient efficiency of a Ford plant. Grill House will do in a pinch if you find yourself craving Mexican, but it’s a decent investment of both time and money. The University has enough international students familiar with the sacred tradition of on-campus burritos to support a restaurant at the start and, as others realized how great it was, the popularity of it would explode. Were it to stay open late, it would even bring some excellent variety to the honestly fairly drab late-night food scene we have currently. While delicious, the usual trip to a kebab shop loses its lustre pretty quickly, and eating something should never feel like a chore.

So for variety’s sake, for the sake of opening a good business, and for the sake of working to create the quintessential student experience, let’s bring burritos to St Andrews.

Do you think this idea would work? Do you prefer Jonathan’s late night coffee house? Read our panel’s verdict and have your say here.

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