Taco Bell opened the first of the chain’s new and only drive-thru in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The fast-food chain calls the new location the “frictionless future of Taco Bell.” The entire complex has a futuristic approach and gives a new face to the traditional drive-thru.
With four drive-thru lanes and an extra-large kitchen, the ultimate goal of the new ‘Defy’ is to reduce the service time to two minutes or less. Mike Grams, Taco Bell's president and global COO, stated,
"Taco Bell Defy is an incredible innovation for our brand, and one that's meeting our consumers in a really unique way,"
"With our bold goal of creating a two-minute or less drive-thru experience for customers of this concept, Taco Bell Defy is the future."
4 drive-thru lanes & A 2-story building: What makes 'defy' unique?
Spread over 3000 square feet, the restaurant, through the newest drive-thru, offers unique features keeping in mind the customers’ modern eating habits. With an elevated kitchen and a vertical lift that delivers food directly to the four drive-thru lanes, the company now promises to deliver you tacos and burritos in under two minutes.
Made in partnership with Minneapolis firm Vertical Works Inc., the drive-thru has a total of four lanes. Out of these, three lanes are dedicated to customers ordering via the app, where they later have to scan the QR code to get their orders. The last lane would be a traditional drive-thru lane with a real person taking the orders.
But the coolest part is not how to order, but actually, how the order would be delivered! The order delivery will be through cylindrical lifts, which not only makes the whole process of delivering food faster, but also sets the fast food chain apart from other fast-food chains.
That’s not it! This drive-thru also features an audio-visual system where employees on the second floor can communicate directly with customers in their cars.
Taco Bell & Innovations
Introduced in August 2021, Defy is the newest concept and the face of what a new-age drive-thru would be like. However, the fast food restaurant also explored a new type of takeout-focused system where orders can be placed with the help of the mobile app.
Like Defy, this system, Taco Bell Go Mobile, was initially developed for the ease of customers and to make service and delivery faster. This, too, had a restaurant with two drive-thru lanes; one as a traditional lane and the other where orders could be placed through the app.
Regarding Taco Bell Go Mobile, Mike Grams also mentioned,
"In 2020, we introduced the Go Mobile concept much earlier than anticipated with the help of quick collaboration with franchisees just like Border Foods. Partnering with our franchisees to test new concepts is a huge unlock of learning for us. What we learn from the test of this new Defy concept may help shape future Taco Bell restaurants."
Taco Bell 'Defy' was officially introduced in August 2021, and it opened its gates to the public on 7th June 2021.
After opening the first-ever futuristic drive-thru, Lee Engler, co-founder and CEO of Border Foods, said that a second of the similar ’Defy' is to open next year in Minnesota. He adds,
“That will be the true test of what the throughput improvement is and answer some of the questions of the turn away factor."
Border Foods, which has 170 Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC franchise locations in Minnesota, refers to Defy as "the fastest way ever to get Taco Bell." The restaurant at Zane Avenue and Highway 610 opened for a media preview on Monday, 6th June, before opening to the public.