Gerardo Murrillo didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur. The former Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes student used to pack tortas for lunch, because he had easy access to them. His dad and tía sell tacos de guisados, so he’d simply buy bolillos and use what they prepared to make sandwiches. “I used to take them to school and my friends began buying them from me and said, ‘Hey, bring me one,’” Murillo told Vice. It snowballed from there, and after making the switch from tortas to burritos – which are less challenging to transport – and creating an app, the 20 year old found himself selling as many as 600 a day.
In November 2015, Geras – as he likes to be called – dropped out of school to actively pursue his business. Back then, he’d set up on the school’s first floor and wait for the students to leave their classes. He and his brother would split up to cover more ground. But because the business didn’t have any real structure, he often found himself struggling to meet demand. At the beginning, he’d receive messages through WhatsApp and have others simply ask him to bring them a burrito in person. “I would run out, and they would begin to complain, because they didn’t all get one,” he said.
Hoping to avoid upsetting his customers or having leftovers at the end of the day, he set out to look for a way to streamline the process. When chatting with his friends, the idea of building an app came to him. “An app where [clients] could see how many burritos were available, what flavors, and where I was going to deliver them,” he said.
He hoped to create the program without spending a ton of money, so he asked his friends, who have experience building websites, for help. They tried to persuade him to create a website, but Geras felt an app would make most sense for his clientele. They spent about four months building the app, which includes a chat function, and this year El niño de los burritos was born. It made its debut in March 2017.
The app requires users to create an account in order to place an order. They can then see when and where they’ll be available, what kinds, and how many are left. He used to sell about 150 burritos daily when the app launched.
Geras sold the burritos secretly at first, because the school doesn’t allow street vending on campus. On August 18, the business blew up after a Twitter user posted about it. “There’s an app called El Niño Del Burrito that distributes burritos all throughout my uni… this is 2036,” the user wrote.
This one tweet took the business to another level, so now he wakes up at 5 a.m. with his sister to meet the demand. Geras, along with his brother and eight others, take turns selling. Luckily for him, university officials told him recently that they have no problem with his business venture, which is welcome news because Geras is looking to expand. “We’re working to have our own proper place that’s closer to the university and that all the delivery agents have their own Chopper bikes,” he added. “We’re trying to figure out how to produce more, cover more space… so that no one goes without a burrito.”