#SadDeskLunch Round-Up: Keep Submitting for Free Lunch & Cupcakes!

 

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It’s been two weeks since we’ve started our promotion with #SadDeskLunch and we have seen some endearingly abysmal submissions. There’s still time to show us your #SadDeskLunch photos here to win FREE lunch and cupcakes! With free cupcakes on the line, why wouldn’t you submit a picture? Check out some of the latest below and let us know which picture you think is most deserving of our lunch hack and free cupcakes!

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A single tortilla in front of an outdated computer. The epitome of a #SadDeskLunch
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Is that turkey or chicken? One thing that we do know: it is sad.
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Nothing says “#SadDeskLunch” like a heated up burrito.
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A #SadDeskLunch Classic: Leftovers.
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Pre-cooked rice, questionable broth. We’ve all been there.

Be sure to watch and share our #SadDeskLunch video starring Kira Fischer, the founder of the #SadDeskLunch blog!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

So, How Exactly Does Social Ordering Work?

By Emily Collins & Debra Liu

Our brand new website has an incredible new feature: social ordering. This feature gives you the power to follow your friends, become a part of a social network of foodies and order food with a group without the stress because you can literally split the bill right on our website. Check out our step-by-step guide to the social ordering process.

Step 1: Get an account. You can sign up directly on the website or sign up via Facebook. Make sure to verify your email before you start an order. Please enjoy the throwback picture.
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Step 2: Invite your friends. If they don’t have an account already, have them sign up. Once you’re all signed up, you can follow each other. To find your friends on FoodtoEat, you can search by name or by email.

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Step 3Find a place to order from. When searching for a place to order from, make sure the address you’re using is where the delivery is going. If the address is different, the restaurant may be out of the delivery zone.

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Step 4: Start your own order. Once this order is started, you can invite as many people as you want ! If they’re not signed up on FoodtoEat, you can send them an invite via email. If they’re already signed up, just search their name and click to send them an invitation to join your order.

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Step 5: Start choosing the food you all want. While you’re selecting your food items, a chat feature will pop up in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Everybody in the order can freely chat and update each other on the status of the order.

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Step 6: Once everybody is done adding food to the cart, the Order Owner will click “check out” and this will bring everybody to a new page to pay the bill.

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Step 7: Paying the bill. There are 3 options for bill payment. The Order Owner has the power to decide what happens:

(1) Cash – you’ll need to gather up cash to pay for the food when it arrives,

(2) Credit Card – by clicking on Credit Card, the Order Owner is paying for the entire bill his/herself  (so generous!), and

(3) Split Bill – the Order Owner has to add their friends to the bill split by clicking on the friends’ profiles on the left hand side of the screen.

  • The bill can be split evenly by clicking on “Split Evenly” or everybody can pay for what they ordered individually by clicking on “Pay Your Own”.
  • Each person puts in their credit card number and once it is confirmed, each individual will have “ √ PAID” next to their name.

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Step 8: Once everybody has paid, the order will go through to the vendor. If there are any special requests, these can be put in before the order is paid and confirmed.

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Step 9: You’ll receive an email confirmation summarizing your order. If you have any urgent changes to the order, please contact the vendor you ordered from directly – this will be the most efficient way to update/change your order.

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Step 10: While you’re waiting for your food to arrive, share your order on social media! Social ordering is more than just splitting a bill between friends; you are now able to follow your friends, check out where they’re ordering from, share on social media and even favorite restaurants.

On your homepage, you can see who is following you, who you’re following and their recent activity. This means you can see where your friends are ordering and who they love! It makes choosing a restaurant just a little bit easier.

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Since Debra L. is following me, I can check out her recent orders, favorites and followers. Debra seems to be a bit addicted to Decadent Donuts…

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Once you’re done social ordering with your friends, you can tweet or share it on Facebook! Let people know where it’s best to order from in the city.
follow4Share the food love over social media! We love getting tweets and pictures of your orders. Now, all you need to do is click a button and you can automatically share your social order on Facebook and Twitter.

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DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

FoodtoEat: Where We Began and Where We’re Going

By Emily Collins 

As you may have noticed, we are undergoing a few changes here at FoodtoEat! Our new website is another step to help our mission of making online food ordering as easy as possible. In 2012 our CEO, Deepti Sharma Kapur, felt her stomach growling, went to get food and realized how long the line was at her favorite food truck. They say it only takes one spark to start a fire (or in this case, a growl to start a roar) and Deepti took advantage of this hunger and started something great.

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Valducci’s Pizza | Photo credit: Sulav Darnal

As we embark on a new chapter in our business, we want to bring it all back to where it began and what we continue to strive for. FoodtoEat, at its very core, is about social responsibility. We want our vendors to thrive in a business that can be dangerously competitive. Our mission is to help local restaurants, food trucks and caterers get more business by putting their products online and ready to order at the tips of your fingers. While our competitors are charging 15-18% per order, we only charge 10 cents – you can order knowing you’re putting money back into the vendors’ pockets. New York City is a bit of a food mecca; keeping the food culture alive is important and taking large amounts of money from hardworking vendors is not a way to do that.

Not only do we give our vendors an easy online ordering platform, we also provide them with corporate catering connections. By signing up with FoodtoEat, vendors and clients have the chance to be a part of our growing concierge catering service. Unlike your typical online food ordering service, we help our vendors flourish by exposing their food to offices around the city. We also help our clients by bringing incredible food to their offices. Whether it’s an ice cream bar, build your own burger or a food truck directly to your office, we’re always finding ways to help our vendors cater to our awesome clients like Tumblr and Hulu.

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Ordering with friends made easy on our new website.

Because of our connections and low fees, we are able to make online ordering not just easier on the vendor, but for the customer. This month, we launched our brand new website that features social ordering.

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Split the bill at the press of a button!

How many times have you wanted to order food with a friend and splitting the bill is an absolute disaster? We’ve solved that. You can invite your friends into an order from different computers and you can buy delicious food together.

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Our new chat feature lets you interact with people while you’re ordering together.

At the end of the order, all you need to do is click a “split bill” button and voilà! You no longer need to walk to Duane Reade and buy a pack of gum to break your $20. You can order from your office computer with co-workers or on your iPad in your dorm, it’s just as simple as the click of a button.

At the end of the day, we want to make online food ordering the best it can be. Help us feed you by ordering today.

For the launch of our new website and social ordering feature, we are running a promotion. Invite your friends, family, co-workers, dogs, anyone to order with you and you can receive 20% off the entire order!

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Join the party! Make a social group order with your friends and receive 20% off the entire order.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

7 Meals Fit for a President

By Rosie O’Regan

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I did some internet research (i.e. Google) on our POTUSes and what they liked to eat. To no surprise, the results showed that our heads of state had very patriotic palates. These dishes range from All-American classics to twists on your old favorites–they’re delicious on their own, but they would sure look good served up on a White House platter!

George Washington, Cherries

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich from Coolhaus

Our #1 guy, Mr. Washington himself, went down in history books for his honesty by admitting to his father that he had chopped down a cherry tree–“I cannot tell a lie”. Whether or not that’s the whole story, I’m willing to bet that he felled that tree for the delicious cherries that were just out of his reach. Poor George could have satisfied his cherry fix for a lot less trouble by heading over to Coolhaus and snagging one of their cherry cheesecake ice cream sandwiches.

Cheery Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich from Coolhaus

John F. Kennedy, New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder from Le Mirage Cafe

What’s cookin’ good lookin’? Massachusetts born and bred, JFK had a weakness for a steaming bowl of New England Clam Chowder. The president deserves the best of the best, and you just cannot beat Le Mirage Cafe’s New England Clam Chowder.

New England Clam Chowder from Le Mirage Cafe

Richard Nixon, Meatloaf

Open-Faced Meatloaf Sandwich from The Squeeze

Nixon was a fan of the true American classic–meatloaf. Every night was probably meatloaf night when he was in the White House. However, it is possible to get bored of even the most delicious standby so I’d tell the president to run over to The Squeeze and try their open-faced meatloaf sandwich on a raw bread with veggies, lacto-fermented pickles, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce. Mmgood.

Open-faced Meatloaf Sandwich from The Squeeze

Ronald Reagan, Mac ‘n Cheese

Mac & Cheese from The Milk Truck

Good ol’ mac ‘n cheese was at the top of Ronald Reagan’s list. Leading the free world is a big job, so it’s nice to unwind with a classic comfort food. The Milk Truck’s Mac & Cheese will help you refuel and get back to the Oval Office in no time!

Mac & Cheese from The Milk Truck

George W. Bush, Brisket

Big Bad Brisket from Mike N’ Willie’s

Proving that he’s a southern man through and through, George W. Bush’s number one dish is brisket. Whenever he was feeling homesick sitting in that big white house in DC, he undoubtedly asked for a meal that reminded him of the South. Mr. President, I promise that Mike N’ Willie’s Big Bad Brisket will transport your taste buds straight to Texas.

Big Bad Brisket from Mike N’ Willie’s

Barack Obama, Broccoli

Fresh Mixed Vegetables Vegetarian Platter from 99% Vegetarian 

Not sure if this is a ploy to get Sasha and Malia to eat their vegetables, but Obama claims that broccoli is his favorite food. Well, Mr. President, let me let you in on a little secret–broccoli goes great with other vegetables. Expand your palate with 99%Vegetarian’s Vegetarian Platter which is chock full of fresh mixed vegetables. Pair your favorite, broccoli, with cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and eggplant, topped with a lemon carrot ginger sauce made from pureed carrots. I got your back, Barack.

Fresh Mixed Vegetables from 99% Vegetarian

If you have dreams of sitting in the Oval Office, this Presidents’ Day treat yourself to a meal fit for the leader of the free world. Who knows, one day it might be you making requests from the White House kitchen!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

We’re Giving Back. And YOU are too !

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It’s the beginning of November, and you know what that means. In a few weeks, you’ll be going home to eat. And most likely, EAT A LOT of really good food. Of course, you’ll also be thinking about everything you’re grateful for and how best to give back to your community.

That’s what Thanksgiving is all about – celebrating and being thankful for the bounty of food and love around us. Despite being a land of plenty, people in America still struggle with hunger on a daily basis; 1 in 6 people in the United States experience difficulty getting food.

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FoodToEat is founded on the principle of giving back to the community, and we want to give you – our loyal customers – an even bigger role in helping us achieve this. Starting November, we’ll be taking the 10 cent fee we charge restaurants from every order you place and donating it directly to The Food Bank for NYC to help feed the hungry. With just 20 cents (that’s only 2 orders from your favorite restaurant!), you can provide a meal to a person in need.

This isn’t just a November Thanksgiving special either. Our community keeps us afloat and we’ll keep this policy in place as a small token of appreciation for all the support. We’re committed to sustainability – for our vendors, our consumers, and ultimately, our community at large.

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So keep ordering from your favorite places. You’ll be helping to feed others at the same time.

Thanks again for your support.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Grubhub – Seamless … is it really happy eating?

You’ve ordered from Seamless and are eagerly rubbing your chopsticks together while waiting for your dynamite roll and edamame to arrive.  The doorbell rings and it begins to feel like Christmas, but is it really happy eating?

Grubhub-Seamless appears to be a godsend to the customer; you can quickly and easily order from your favorite restaurant and wait for your glorious food to arrive.  We know you paid $12.36 for that Pad Thai, but what are the other costs involved in ordering?

taking candy from a babyLike taking candy from a baby, Grubhub-Seamless charges restaurants between 10%-20% per order.  That might sound like chump change to you, but to a business whose margins are already low, it’s like $1 billion. The average profit margin is 6% per meal.  Doing simple math at a rate of 10% – 20%, many restaurants are losing out.  You might be thinking, “why is this my problem?” or “restaurants should just adjust prices accordingly”.   It is your problem because your favorite Chinese takeout could go out of business due to paying high fees in a business that already has low margins.  Raising prices doesn’t work either.  Yes, you might be okay with paying a little more, but typically when the price increases, the demand decreases – so there goes the customers.

Grubhub-Seamless also has a few questionable business practices.  Let’s put aside the fact that there merger has been questioned by local and federal governments and focus on their pricing strategy.  Grubhub-Seamless charges a higher percentage the more business a restaurant gives them.  Pedro Munoz, owner of Luz in Brooklyn, cut ties with Grubhub-Seamless when his fees rose from 10% to 14% after his monthly orders increased to over $10,000. tubesocks

Everyone knows that prices go down when quantity increases.  For example, what is the cost per pair when buying  a 4 pack of your favorite tube sock versus buying one pair?  CHEAPER! We know this, so why doesn’t Grubhub-Seamless work the same way?

power in our handsThe good news is that as a consumer, the power is in YOUR hands. And we at Foodtoeat.com, are right there beside you. We really are all about the restaurants we work with and the customers we serve.  That’s why we only charge $0.10 an order, which usually comes out to less than 1% of the order.  We want restaurants to keep their profits and be able to pass on deals to you.

By having a sustainable model for online ordering, we enable restaurants to focus on what’s important, the customer – YOU.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Sources:

Marritz, Ilya. “Food Delivery Hits The Web, But Restaurants Pay The Price.” Npr.org. Npr.org, 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/08/12/211187343/food-delivery-hits-the-web-but-restaurants-pay-the-price

Brustein, Joshua. “Seamless and the Online-Takeout Trend Are Making Restaurants Queasy.”Businessweek.com. Bloomberg, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-07/seamless-and-the-online-takeout-trend-makes-restaurants-queasy

New York State Office of the Attorney General. Media Center. A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Seamless And Grubhub To Ensure Competition In Online Food Ordering. Http://ag.ny.gov/. 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-settlement-seamless-and-grubhub-ensure-competition-online

Wagstaff, Keith. “Why Ordering Online from Your Favorite Restaurant Could Be Killing It.”Theweek.com. The Week Publications, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. http://theweek.com/article/index/248015/why-ordering-online-from-your-favorite-restaurant-could-be-killing-it

Compost Company Aims to Create Green Cities

A startup in Washington D.C. is helping the District dispose of its trash and encouraging more sustainable farming practices. Compost Cab was started in March 2010 by Jeremy Brosowsky as a way to provide nutrient-rich compost to urban city farms. Every year Americans generate 250 million tons of garbage, of which one-third can be composted instead of sitting in landfills that generate methane and other greenhouse gases.

After meeting with urban farmers who go on compost runs to pick up food scraps from different homes and businesses mile away from each other, Brosowsky realized a compost business could make this process more efficient and help turn more city residents into composters. Now, for $32 a month, Compost Cab gives customers a collection basket with a sturdy compostable bag, to minimize smells and keep away pests. Customers can fill their bins with kitchen scraps that abide by the company’s rule, if it grows, it goes.

Compost Cab picks up the compost every week and drops the food waste off at a number of urban farms, which can now improve their soil and grow more food. Compost cab has been particularly successful at reaching a market that desperately wanted to compost but found it was too much hassle to get started. Doug Rand, a policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy wanted to compost but didn’t want to collect and store trash and drive it to a dropoff each week. Now Rand and about 350 other residential customers have been recruited as customers by Compost Cab.

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“I don’t think of it as the garbage business, I’m in the magic business. As I tell my kids, ‘I turn garbage into food.’ As composting become more mainstream, my job is to make sure that some significant piece of the stream gets captured for urban farms,” Brosowsky says.

Business is so successful in Washington that Compost Cab delivers about two tons of food waste to local farms every week. Brosowsky hopes to expand the business to six more cities in 2013, including Baltimore, Brooklyn and Chicago. Ultimately Brosowsky sees residential compost pickup as a short-term business, hoping that in the long run cities will pick up their own organic waste the same way they would pickup regular garbage or recycling. In San Francisco city trucks collect about 600 tons of compost every day, and Washington’s Sustainable DC task force is discussing how to make the city the “greenest” in the nation.

Although there are still challenges to the business model, customers have been overwhelmingly supportive of Compost Cab. Out of a 50 person trial run in University Park, Maryland, only one customer was dissatisfied with service. Similarly one of the few complaints about Compost Cab has been a demand for larger bins to compost even more. However urban farms can only handle so much food waste, and there are very few commercial composting facilities near the District. However Brosowsky is confident that Compost Cab will catch on in other cities, at least until city governments begin to compost themselves.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Snap Enters the Food Truck Scene with a Bang

Just a few weeks ago, New York saw the newest addition to its collection of food trucks. Snap has made its debut, serving Chicago-style hotdogs and their unique Panko-crusted avocado fries. Their first appearance was at Photoville in Brooklyn, followed by the Prospect Park Food Truck Rally, and the Hudson Square “Lent Space” Food Truck Lot this week.

The creators of Snap were very motivated to get their food on the road. Earlier this year they held a Kickstarter Campaign to help raise money for the final renovations of their bio-fueled food truck, which runs on recycled cooking oil used in their deep fryers. They were successful in reaching their goal of raising $10,000 by March, and within a few months they fixed up their truck with environmental sustainability in mind.

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(photo credit: NYSF)

Although they serve mainly hotdogs, Snap has adjusted to providing more vegetarian options. Their Chicavocado Dog consists of avocado fries stuffed in a Chicago-style bun with mustard, chopped onions, dill pickle spear, sweet pickle relish, sport peppers, and celery salt (the works). If you’re not a vegetarian, word on the street is the Chili Cheese Dog is to die for.

Although the Snap food truck does not have an NYC street permit yet, you can find them at many food truck lots in Manhattan and Brooklyn–their twitter feed will keep you updated on their location. My obsession with avocados won’t let me go much longer without visiting Snap soon to try those delectable avocado fries.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Whole Foods Set to Ban Unsustainable Seafood from their Stores

Fishing sustainability has been a hot topic lately, so hot that natural food store chain Whole Foods has decided to no longer purchase or distribute fish and seafood considered unsustainable. As of Earth Day 2012, all “red-rated” seafood, or seafood that suffers from overfishing or capture methods that cause environmental damage will be banned from Whole Foods stores.

Several other large chain stores have enacted similar unsustainable seafood bans. Target has removed farmed salmon from its shelves, and promises to eliminate foods that are unsustainable from its stores by 2015. Wegman’s has discontinued selling items from the Ross Sea in the Antarctic, which many experts say should no longer be fished. Wal-Mart will also require its fresh and frozen seafood to be labeled as sustainable, and develop a proper labeling system to identify seafood.

However there is still a large grey area around what seafood is actually sustainable and what is not. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has the most widely used certification system, and has certified 148 wild-caught fisheries, representing about seven percent of the global supply. However out of these fisheries, studies have shown that 31 percent were still overfished. There is still a long way to go for certifiers to sharpen their criteria and establish a superior system to rate the sustainability of various fishing methods. Though experts still recommend purchasing certified seafood, the current system is far from perfect.

The implications of Whole Foods and other stores banning many sources of seafood will have a huge effect on the fishermen who have provided these chains with fresh seafood for years. Much of this seafood comes from the overfished stocks of New England, where fishermen have been selling their catches to the same large retailers for years. Many fishermen will have to find new buyers for their catches, or simply wait until a more definitive rating system come to be.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Chipotle Celebrates Earth Day by Giving Away Free Burritos

This Earth Day there’s no better place to celebrate all the wonders of our planet then at your neighborhood Chipotle. Chipotle has just announced that they will be giving away FREE burritos this Earth Day (Sunday, April 22nd), though there is a catch…

In order to receive your free burrito, you must first purchase one of Chipotle’s new limited addition reusable bags. The bags largely resemble lunchboxes, and you probably wouldn’t be able to use them for much else besides lunch. They also have Chipotle written on them, which might detract some people who aren’t interested in broadcasting what they eat, and they cost $18 apiece. On the bright side though, they’re made entirely of old Chipotle billboards, making each bag completely unique, and they are completely recycled, meaning that purchasing one is something to feel good about.

Considering the price of a burrito nowadays, purchasing a recyclable bag may not be such a bad investment, not only do you save on your burrito with a barcode you receive when you purchase your bag, but you can also use the bag to store your lunch, plan a picnic, or just look stylish an day of the week. If you’re into helping the environment, and don’t mind paying $18 for a $10 burrito, than you purchase your reusable Chipotle bag here.

*CORRECTION: You may only receive one free burrito with purchase of a reusable bag. Those who purchase a lunch bag from the online Chipotle store will receive a card containing a barcode, which customers must present on Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day) to redeem their free Chipotle menu item.