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Taco Bell to open the first digital-only U.S. location in Times Square

Taco Bell to open the first digital-only U.S. location in Times Square

April 15, 2021: – Taco Bell will open its first digital-only U.S. restaurant on Wednesday in New York’s Times Square. To buy a Crunch wrap Supreme or soft taco, customers will have to place a digital order ahead of their visit or use one of the restaurant’s ten self-order kiosks. The kiosks can be used to buy Taco Bell souvenirs. Inside the iconic Paramount Building, the location also features a separate gate for entry for mobile and delivery order pick-up from cubbies.

The simplified design is expected to keep employees of the Yum Brands chain from being overwhelmed. Times Square is one of the city’s busiest tourist hotspots, with 50 million estimated visitors every year. Darden Restaurants’ Olive Garden restaurant in Times Square is the chain’s most dynamic. However, it has taken a hit in the coronavirus pandemic, like most eateries dependent on tourist traffic.

Like Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill, other restaurant chains have also planned to open digital-only restaurants as their online sales rise. The new design will have to cut down on square footage and do away with long, winding lines in busy times.

Taco Bell opened its first digital-only location last year in the Wembley section of London. Taco Bell’s decision to open a digital-only restaurant in the U.S follows its Cantina format’s success, which helps it deepen its urban footprint. It is testing the design in markets of suburban.

Cantina restaurants are smaller and more modern, and upscale, featuring open kitchens and alcohol. Taco Bell has already started above 20 Cantinas across New York’s five boroughs. The Times Square location includes all of the typical features of a Cantina, except for menu boards.

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