May 17, 2016 // Franchising.com // Irvine, Calif. – Remember the original Taco Bell mission restaurants, complete with a bell, an outdoor patio and fire pit?
That classic architectural design redefined the fast food experience for generations to come. Today, Taco Bell announced a new line of restaurant designs that will do the same: with a nod to the future and a wink to the past. As part of its expansion plans to open 2,000 new restaurants by 2022, Taco Bell is unveiling and testing four new restaurant designs built to reflect the vibrant communities in which they operate.
“Building new restaurants is a key component to the overall growth and evolution of Taco Bell,” said Brian Niccol, Chief Executive Officer at Taco Bell Corp. “Great design, Great Food and Great Economics is at the heart of our growth.”
The four designs will make their debut in Orange County, California this summer through existing restaurant remodels, with broader roll-out planned in 2016, including plans to expand in urban locations with the Taco Bell Cantina concept.
“While all four restaurant designs each have a different contextual personality, they all share a commonality in expressing Taco Bell’s brand like never before,” stated Marisa Thalberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Taco Bell Corp. “From the open kitchen that showcases our freshly prepared foods to the community tables designed for friends to hang out, each of these formats fosters a modern, unique experience.”
“It’s no longer one size fits all,” stated Deborah Brand, VP of Development and Design at Taco Bell Corp. “Consumers are looking for a localized, customized and personalized experiences that reflect the diversity of their communities – the flexibility in bringing these four designs to life gives us just that.”
Reducing the environmental footprint of stores was top of mind when developing these new restaurant designs, which feature LED lights and energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment. All local California locations will leverage reclaimed wood from California ports and, where possible, newly built restaurants will incorporate more sustainable landscape features such as solar panel canopies over drive-thrus and reclaimed water for irrigation.
In 2015 Taco Bell opened over 275 new restaurants, remodeled about 600 more, and is currently on pace to exceed both numbers in 2016. Of the 2,000 restaurants planned to be built by 2022, 200 will be urban locations – a typically underrepresented geographic area for the brand.
In 2015, Taco Bell also opened up the first of its two “Cantina” restaurants in San Francisco and Chicago. These urban concept restaurants have five things in common that differentiate them from standard Taco Bell restaurants: décor, localized artwork, open kitchen layout, open plating and shareable menus. Additionally, Cantina restaurants may also serve alcoholic beverages, which can include beer, wine, sangria and twisted Freezes.
Atlanta is currently being explored for the next urban development, while numerous cities across the U.S. are under consideration for future locations. These include major metropolitan areas from New York, Boston and Ohio to smaller cities with revitalizing downtown areas like Berkeley, Austin and Fayetteville.
Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, gourmet-inspired Cantina Power® Menu, lower calorie Fresco options and is the first QSR restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified menu items. Taco Bell Breakfast offers portable, classic items such as the A.M. Crunchwrap, Biscuit Taco and signature breakfast burritos. The company encourages customers to “Live Más,” both through its food and in ways such as its Feed The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell® Foundation™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 40 million customers every week.
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SOURCE Taco Bell