Best of Lawrence Profile: Burrito King is a fast food favorite for locals

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored content produced by the Journal-World’s advertising department. Businesses who received a top three award in the Best of Lawrence competition are eligible to participate in the Best of Lawrence Spotlight Series program, which includes a question-and-answer profile. Look for future profiles in the print and online editions of the Journal-World.

Congratulations on being voted the “Best of Lawrence”! How does it feel to receive this recognition from the community?

We feel grateful, accomplished, and valued as a business. We’d like to give thanks to KU, the community, construction workers, and our family and friends.

What do you believe sets your business apart?

We believe in good quality food with quality fair pricing. Our late night, early morning hours are unique to Burrito King.

Angelina and Max Cruz became the owners of Burrito King in 2011.

Can you provide a brief overview of your business’s history, including its founding, initial goals and how it has evolved over the years?

In 2011 Max was the cook and I was the cashier at Burrito King when we had the opportunity to purchase the business. We had always wanted to have a business and had started catering from our home. We were looking to open up a food truck when the opportunity arose for us to take over Burrito King. We jumped into the business with our eyes closed with little to no money in our pocket. The business had been struggling, but we believed we could bring it back to life. Our goal was to succeed and make something of the restaurant. We wanted to bring great Mexican food and authentic Mexican flavors to our community.

Could you share an example of how your business has embraced innovation to stay ahead of the curve?

Recently we have gotten more tech savvy. We have some tablets that we can walk down the drive-thru line and take orders and payments. That way when customers get to the window, they just have to pick up their food.

Businesses face challenges as well. Can you discuss a significant hurdle your business has overcome and the lessons learned from it?

One of our major hurdles for Burrito King, when we first took over, was the flow of traffic. We had to create a different flow of traffic to get the line of cars out of the street. Sometimes it’s still a challenge because we don’t have a very long drive-thru line and when we have many people coming at one time, we work as fast as we can to get everyone through the line efficiently. We used to offer delivery service, but the delivery drivers took space in the line and then our customers were having to wait longer. We decided to stop using the delivery services so that we could prioritize our customers who had already come to order from us. It’s unfortunate because we know there’s a lot of opportunity with deliveries, but we just don’t have the capacity for it.

In some ways covid was a challenge for Burrito King, but we were very lucky to have the support and business from the community. Because we have a drive-thru we didn’t lose any time and were able to keep serving our customers. It was a very challenging time for our employees. They had to take extra steps to gear to up to go into work with temperature checks and tests to make sure they weren’t sick.

Are there any upcoming projects, events, or initiatives that you’re excited about and would like the community to know?

We are bringing back our daily specials. We also are going to have a new seating area around the big tree out front. We’re hoping to put in a deck in time for summer so that there’s more seating for our walk up customers.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to create their own successful ventures?

My advice would be to push for your dreams, stay focused, always think more positively than negatively and have a backup plan.

The “Best of Lawrence” title often indicates a commitment to excellence in customer service. How do you ensure that every customer has a positive experience with your business?

We always try to give everybody the best service possible. We strive to keep everybody happy and satisfied.

Anything additional you want to share?

We just want to give a big shout out to our community, KU, our sports teams, Rock Chalk to everybody, all the construction workers, our family and friends, all the businesses in our area.