Taco Bell Reportedly Opening First ‘Digital Only’ Store

by Emily Morgan
taco-bell-opening-first-digital-only-store

Everyone’s favorite fast-food Mexican chain, Taco Bell, is opening a new Times Square location with a crazy spin. Those in the famous tourist spot will be able to place their Taco Bell orders without saying a single word. An odd take for this episode of “Black Mirror,” but we’re intrigued.

Per Daily Mail, beginning on Wednesday, the futuristic location will open its doors on the ground floor of the historic Paramount Building in the heart of Times Square.

As part of the chain’s new Cantina brand, the spot will offer beer and specialty cocktails in addition to the classic fan favorites from their original menu. As for ordering, this is where things take a turn. Customers at the location will use digital ordering, with customers either ordering ahead or using kiosks and picking up their order at the counter.

However, this isn’t the first time the fast-food chain has utilized its digital kiosks. Taco Bell restaurants nationwide have previously used digital kiosks as an option when ordering. As for the Times Square location, the kiosks are put in place to help the employees not become too overwhelmed by the large crowds the area typically sees.

Times Square Taco Bell Location to Offer New Menu Item

There’s more: the location will also feature an exclusive menu item only available in Times Square. Fans in the area can get the new Bell Apple Freeze. A Green Apple Freeze swirled with a cherry apple flavor. In addition, you can get Taco Bell-themed merchandise from the kiosks as well. The Taco Bell merch will include sauce packet keychains, pin sets, and pens.

A modern open floor plan with ten digital kiosks will now greet customers instead of friendly smiles and hellos from the staff. Those who ordered ahead will pick up their meals at one of the 15 designated cubbies in the store.

Many say that companies’ shifts towards digital ordering directly responds to the COVID- 19 pandemic. Many restaurants have utilized “low contact” transactions. Implementing tactics such as digital ordering in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to Taco Bell’s parent company, Yum Brands, its digital business, which includes its online orders, jumped 45 percent in 2020 to a record $17 billion.

Many expect the location to compete with Taco Bell’s restaurant on the Las Vegas strip. The store is currently the chain’s highest-volume location. However, Taco Bell has nearly 60 locations in New York City, which is key to their upcoming expansion.

Outsider.com