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Drive thru – the start of a new fast food era

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes

The new restaurant design for the American fast food chain Taco Bell no longer includes inside dining. Instead, it incorporates multiple drive-thru lanes.

Fast food has gotten even faster. The American fast food chain Taco Bell is ushering in the dawn of a new restaurant era. Its futuristic architecture is not the only reason the newly unveiled “Taco Bell Defys” design is turning lots of heads. The two-story buildings that will spring up en masse across the U.S. in 2022 have a unique feature. Rather than the standard single drive-thru lane like the ones we know from burger chains here in Germany, these restaurants have at least two, and as many as six. In line with the post-Corona spirit, the restaurant will no longer offer inside dining; in its place, there will be an efficient lift system that delivers food from the kitchen on the top floor to the car windows below.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Taco Bell (@tacobell)

Eating food at the table is out

Taco Bell franchisee Lee Engler came up with the idea of specializing in drive-thru during the pandemic. Out of necessity, he focused on the to-go market and opened 13 restaurants with double drive-thru lanes. The new Taco Bell Defy design takes the idea even further.

The Defy has multiple points of access. Orders can be placed via app, directly at the counter or, if you prefer, in person at the restaurant. However, except for limited seating areas on the patio, you won’t find any sit-down dining in theses restaurants of the future. The focus here is on speed. Order and then off you go. To speed things up even more, they now have more drive-thru lanes – a minimum of two and up to six per restaurant.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Taco Bell (@tacobell)

Roughly the same number of employees

The food is delivered from the kitchen to the cars in an aluminium tube which is like a modernized version of a dumbwaiter. But if you assume drive-thru-only restaurants are just an ingenious idea to cut down on staff, you’re wrong – at least if you believe the owner. Although the efficient system means restaurants will need fewer service workers, Engler says he will hire about the same number of employees per store as conventional Taco Bells. After all, more hands will be needed in the kitchen.

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