Touchless drive-thrus are the future and Taco Bell is driving the concept with a new restaurant, Taco Bell Defy, to be opened in 2022.
Details were revealed this week for the upcoming restaurant, which will feature a four-lane drive-thru as well as mobile check-in and pickup areas. The new restaurant will open in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, in the summer of 2022.
What stands out about Taco Bell Defy is its contact-free check-in screens. Mobile order customers will be able to scan a QR code to place their orders, then receive their food from the elevated kitchen via a proprietary lift, Axios reported.
This means that customers need not interact directly with restaurant staff, a concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and instead communicate through two-way audio and video technology.
Three of the four lanes will cater to mobile and delivery order pickups with the fourth being a traditional drive-thru that allows customers to place orders at a kiosk and drive ahead for pickup. The aim is to make the entire process, from ordering to food pickup, faster and more efficient for Taco Bell app users.
"All of this will help Taco Bell Defy's footprint, which is smaller or equal to existing store footprints, serve even more customers," Taco Bell said in a statement, according to Fox Business.
Taco Bell has been testing various concepts over the years. In 2016, the fast food chain successfully introduced Taco Bell Cantina, which features open kitchens and serves alcohol. Then, earlier this year, Taco Bell went completely digital with its Cantina concept restaurant in New York City's Times Square in an effort to provide modernized services.
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