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Taco Bell opens its first ‘Defy’ restaurant, prioritising ordering through app
The four drive-thru lanes of the restaurants are located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Image depicting Taco Bell's first 'Defy' restaurant in Minnesota

Taco Bell opens its first ‘Defy’ restaurant in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Source: Food and Wine Restaurant Magazine

This Tuesday, June 7, fast food chain Taco Bell went on to open the doors to its new concept, ‘Taco Bell Defy,’ a new, digital-driven introduction in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Way back in August last year, Taco Bell first spoke of its new venture, a two-storey restaurant prioritising app-based orders.

Particularly, this Minnesota location makes use of technology to speed up its drive-thru service with a new target. According to Mike Grams, President of Taco Bell, this new introduction comes with the ‘bold goal’ of coming up with a ‘drive-thru experience’ of 2 minute or less ‘for customers of this concept.’

Moreover, the distinct design of this new ‘Defy’ outlet is aimed to be more third-party delivery and mobile order friendly. The working of it includes delivering the orders from its elevated kitchen area by means of a vertical lift or ‘food tube’. A video posted by Taco Bell on TikTok shows this ‘food tube’ bringing meal down to the ground level, somewhat identical to a drive-thru but customers getting the ordered food instead of cash.

According to Taco Bell owner Border Foods and franchise itself, this Defy outlet showcases several features that could appear in future restaurants of the franchise in the country. In fact, Taco Bell is even considering retrofits for many of its neighbouring outlets.

“boasts many features that could show up in future Taco Bell restaurants in the US,”

Alongside, this Defy restaurant in Brooklyn Park also has the provision for ordering via the mundane drive-thru speaker, or in-store on a kiosk. Mainly, this is for customers who might suddenly appear craving a Chalupa, or for ones who would prefer speaking to a human. Though this is not the focus, Taco Bell has made sure to keep the option open anyway.

One of the four drive-thru passages is predominantly a regular drive-thru, with the remaining three prioritising customers ordering through the app. Clearly, this enables them to simply check-in, ‘skip’ the queue, scan the given QR code, and leave as soon as they just pick up their food without hassle. Moreover, these lanes are also for third-party delivery executives working for services such as UberEats, GrubHub and Door Dash.

Taco Bell comes forward as the second fast food giant on the range of outlets giving priority to tech-based orders. In December last year, fast food chain Chipotle came with its first ‘digital kitchen’ in Ohio. This was fully aimed at completing online orders and orders coming in via its walk up window. This was despite company executives considering the idea of introducing Chipotle windows rather ‘controversial.’

Evidently, the use of food delivery apps in the past two years has been extensive owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, ghost kitchens made headway amidst bigger brands as chains slowly shifted to minimal contact during delivery for customers.

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