Taco Bell is always looking for ways to innovate in order to keep consumers coming back for more chalupas. They’ve offered people money to get married in one of their restaurants. They’ve partnered with Lyft to create “Taco Mode” ridesharing. Earlier this year, the fast food franchiser started offering alcohol in select markets as a test run. That test run that went so well that they’re taking things national now.
The Bell has announced plans to open 300 new locations that will serve alcohol. But, as there always is with Taco Bell, there’s a twist.
Known as “cantina style” Taco Bell restaurants, they will not have a drive-thru. Presumably, mixing alcohol and drive-thrus sounds like the kind of thing that cities and police departments frown upon. Still, that’s a big deal considering that, per Food and Wine, 55 to 70 percent of Taco Bell revenue comes in the form of you pulling up in your car and ordering way more Mexican food than your stomach can handle.
So what kind of booze will your local Bell serve? The list is expected to include draft beer, bottled beer, sangria, and “Twisted Freezes,” which is basically a slushie spiked with tequila, rum, or vodka.
You’ve got time to adjust to this new reality. The “cantina style” Taco Bells aren’t expected to be launched until 2022. When they do, expect to see them in urban areas such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston, and New York. In other words, places where the need for a car is lessened and, therefore, not as much of a hindrance to customers.
Drive-thru restaurants won’t be going away anytime soon. Taco Bell currently has around 6,000 restaurants around the country and most of them aren’t going anywhere so long as you keep buying quesadillas.
If nothing else, this brings us one step closer to the future envisioned in Demolition Man, and that’s…a good thing?