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Boloco Tries Its Own Honesty Test

By Aaron Kraut

Friday - 10/4/2013, 3:05pm  ET

Honest Tea put people's honesty to the test in July by placing unattended bottled teas in front of the Barnes & Noble. Signs asked people to pay $1 each for drinks they took.Honest Tea took its honesty test to a Bethesda Row neighbor on Thursday.

The Boloco burrito location on Elm Street offered the Bethesda-based company’s drinks for $1. It also gave customers the choice to snag the drinks for free.

The Boston-based fast casual burrito set it up as a honesty competition between its Bethesda location and its store in Wellesley, Mass. Eighty-six percent of customers at Boloco Bethesda pad for their drinks, while 85 percent paid at Wellesley.

Honest Tea, headquartered on Bethesda Avenue, set up unmanned kiosks full of its tea products in July, including one in front of the Barnes & Noble at Bethesda Row. On Thursday, the two companies joined up in the marketing strategy/social experiment.

“We had so much fun reversing the roles for the day and seeing how honestly our guests acted when they thought no one was watching,” Boloco CEO John Pepper said.