Taco Bell opens ‘Defy’ restaurant that prioritizes drive-thru orders via app

Today, Taco Bell opened the doors to its new digital-focused two-story restaurant concept, Taco Bell Defy, in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Taco Bell first told us about Taco Bell Defy in August 2021. The location uses technology to speed up service, with a “bold goal of creating a 2-minute or less drive-thru experience for customers in this concept,” according to Taco Bell President Mike Grams.

Above all, the design of the new restaurant is supposed to be more friendly for mobile orders and third-party deliveries. It delivers orders from the elevated kitchen via a vertical lift/”food tube” seen in the video below that brings meals down to ground level – think a drive-thru bank, but you get a Chalupa and Baja Blast instead silver. According to Taco Bell and franchise owner Border Foods, the Defy location “has many features that could appear in future Taco Bell restaurants in the United States,” and they are considering renovations for neighboring restaurants.

Taco Bell Defy has the option of ordering through the usual drive-thru speakerphone or in-store at a kiosk for customers who spontaneously crave a gordita crunch or prefer to talk to a human, but that’s not the option. objective here.

Of the four drive-thru lanes, one is traditional drive-thru only. This leaves the other three to prioritize people ordering the app so they can check in, ‘skip the queue’, scan a QR code, pick up their food and be on their way, or for drivers – third-party delivery people working for services like Door Dash, GrubHub or Uber Eats.

Taco Bell is the next fast food chain on the list of restaurants favoring a digital ordering format. In December, Chipotle opened its first ‘digital kitchen’ in Ohio dedicated to processing online orders and orders coming in through its walk-in window, though, for company executives, the idea of ​​adding windows to the Chipotlane steering wheel in the first place was “controversial”. As food delivery apps have been widely used during the pandemic, shadow kitchens have made headway among big brands as restaurants shifted to minimal-contact food delivery for customers.


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