Your Favorite Taco Bell Location Is About to Look Very Different
With drive-thrus and takeout options dominating fast food sales, more and more emphasis is placed on the outward appearance of fast food restaurant locations and the functionality of their drive-thru lanes.
Sonic, for example, has spruced up its exteriors recently, while also making drive-in car docks wider, and Shake Shack has entered the drive-thru arena with a strong out-of-the-gate advantage of order-ahead pickup lanes.
Now, Taco Bell is joining the ranks of quick service restaurants planning for a big facelift and floor plan adjustment. The fast food giant unveiled their latest restaurant design plans this week, which are centered around keeping drive-thru lanes short and encouraging customers to order ahead on the app, an inspiration they surely got from Chipotle's Chipotlanes.
And the name says it all—the "Go Mobile" design, which will be retrofitted at as many locations as possible, is all about the fast turnover of contactless customers. Whether you're picking up your digital order curbside or going the drive-thru route, your wait time is going to decrease significantly.
The move comes as Taco Bell is experiencing a surge in drive-thru traffic—although same-store sales are down by 8% in the latest quarter, the chain served 4.8 million cars more than during the same period last year. That's a whole lotta nachos and burritos on the go!
The new design will separate the mobile app pickup lane from the drive-thru lane. It will also add parking spots for curbside pickup and indoor shelves for claiming digital orders. Last but not least, Taco Bell's kitchens are getting an upgrade too, and customers will be directed to the easiest way to pick up their food by the kitchen staff.
Two new company-owned locations with the dual drive-thru lanes, high-tech kitchens, and other upgrades are scheduled to open early next year.
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