Taco Bell has opened a new futuristic location in Minnesota that has four drive-thru lanes — and no indoor dining room.
The two-story building design is called Defy since it's defying fast food industry norms such as customer seating and ordering from an employee at a register. But since the pandemic started, 90% of customers use only the drive-thru, according to the Border Foods, the large Taco Bell franchisee that developed the new store concept with the chain.
Each of the four drive-thru lanes has a different purpose. One is a traditional lane, where customers can order food, but the other three lanes are reserved for picking up food that was ordered online or through third-party delivery systems such as Uber Eats. Customers will be able to drive up to the touch screen and scan a QR code on their phone for their order, keeping wait times below two minutes, ideally.
Powering all these drive-thrus is an expanded kitchen with four food prep lines on the second floor that customers drive directly under. Your food will be prepped above you and delivered by a brand new vertical lift system instead of an employee handing it to you out a window. It's similar to an antique dumb waiter, or bank and pharmacy drive-thru systems, but with larger tubes and no twists or turns so your Crunchwrap and nachos don't turn into a taco salad.
The first of these cutting edge locations opened today in Brooklyn Park, a suburb of Minneapolis. If all goes well, you may get your tacos lowered to your car at a location near you soon.
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