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You have to hand it to California Tortilla, the Rockville-based chain, for developing a two-pronged promotional plan that gives the recently unemployed a free burrito while simultaneously grooming them as future diners. I don’t know if I should applaud or take a shower.

According to this small item in the Washington Business Journal, California Tortilla “is encouraging terminated employees to hold onto their unemployment papers for a little while longer after they file. Those who can mail proof of termination to the company can receive a ‘Burrito Elito’ card loaded with a free burrito.”

So far, so good. But then the Journal notes that “[r]ecipients are also eligible for double points on their Burrito Elito card for a month, which awards free items when purchases begin to add up.”

For a full month, really?! Does California Tortilla realize how long it takes to find a new job? But more to the point, does California Tortilla think that asking the unemployed to eat at their restaurants regularly is wisest or most ethical strategy?

Image by Flickr user Swift Benjamin