Taco Bell sets the standard for the future of quick service restaurants

Taco Bell future of quick service restaurants, photo provided by Taco Bell
Taco Bell future of quick service restaurants, photo provided by Taco Bell /

Taco Bell announcements often focus on the return of the Quesalupa or customized Craving Boxes, but these food deals only tell part of the story. While value is always part of the restaurant’s conversation, the future of quick service restaurants has an even greater impact. While consumers might not instantly recognize those adaptations, the reality is that these changes lead to greater satisfaction.

While the restaurant industry has forever been impacted by the events of the past year, the reality is that those changes will continue to adapt. Still, the consumers’ needs and wants tend to drive the conversation.

Although the word “pivot” might be overused, the truth is the restaurant brands who listen and implement consumers’ needs continue to be relevant. It is more than just another loyalty app, delivery service, or free food promotion. The changes have to resonate with the loyal customer base.

How Taco Bell fits into the future of quick service restaurants

In a recent company announcement, the quick service restaurant brand looks to expand its footprint in multiple ways. In this case, it isn’t just a drive-thru or in restaurant expansion. Taco Bell looks to cover all the bases. Since it is on “track to have 10,000 restaurants open globally this decade,” a one size fits all approach is not viable.

Mike Grams, Taco Bell’s President and Global COO, said “Our restaurant portfolio continues to rapidly evolve, striking a crucial balance between being technology-forward and social-oriented. Even amid the challenging pandemic, we are continuing to grow due in large part to the strength in our franchise partnerships as well as the flexible formats we offer.”

Taco Bell sets the standard for the future of quick service restaurants
Taco Bell catina, photo provided by Taco Bell /

Since Taco Bell Cantina’s have been well received, the brand looks to continue the concept of “destination restaurants.” Instead of the grab and go scenario, these locations invite guests to linger. From cozy fit pits to areas designed to promote conversation, the Taco Bell Cantina model shows that the classic Chalupa doesn’t have to be just the late night food craving.

At the same time, the efficiency and customer experience continues to be a priority. From kiosk ordering to Go Mobile concept, these locations are designed with a specific community in mind. For example, it was said that “remodeling existing restaurants to fit the needs of each trade area’s customers and surrounding community” has become a focus.

As some changes are implemented, the spark to solve more problems continues. With the goal to improve the drive-thru experience, it will be interesting to see how Taco Bell change the broken model.

In the end, Taco Bell has a vision for the future of quick service restaurants. Whether other restaurants continue this conversation remains to be seen.

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What restaurant changes have improved the guest experience? Do you think that the conversation is moving in the right direction?