Taco Bell has unveiled plans to reach a footprint of 10,000 stores in the next 10 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly changed how consumers interact with fast-food restaurants, and the chain has developed innovative store designs that capture these shifting priorities.
For one, Taco Bell is prioritizing digital elements for on-the-go customers, which is one of the most prominent features of its new Go Mobile store prototype introduced last year. The chain plans to add 30 more locations of this new digital-friendly design by the end of the year, according to CNN Business.
Other new designs cater to urban areas where drive-thrus are impractical, as well as the social aspect of the Taco Bell experience, which the chain isn’t planning to fully leave behind. Here are some of the biggest changes you’ll see at Taco Bell’s new locations. For more, don’t miss the 5 Major Changes You’ll See on Taco Bell’s Menu.
What’s the one shift in consumer behavior that may outlive the pandemic? Fewer customers are looking to eat inside a fast-food restaurant; instead, they’re looking for more efficient ways to quickly pick up their orders. Taco Bell’s new Go Mobile restaurant design takes this into account, and it features significantly smaller dining rooms.
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What Go Mobile restaurants are losing in dining room space, they’re making up for in drive-thru efficiency. The new locations will feature a second drive-thru lane dedicated to pick-up orders made through the chain’s app.
In order to ensure the drive-thrus run smoothly, the Go Mobile design features a new concierge team of bellhops—restaurant staff that will be stationed outside to take orders on digital tablets. Taco Bell says it plans to add up to 1,000 bellhops by the summer.
Taco Bell is rolling out a new kiosk-only design for urban stores that don’t have space for a drive-thru. The upcoming prototype will open in Manhattan this year and feature kiosks for an in-person digital experience.
The chain isn’t fully giving up on creating social experiences at its locations—they’re just making it easier to take the fun outdoors. At its first-ever drive-thru Cantina, which opened this year in Danville, Calif., guests can socialize around an outdoor fire pit and game area, as well as an indoor bar (which will open once COVID-19 restrictions lift).
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