US | Taco Bell’s Long Awaited ‘Redefined Drive-Thru’ Opens

The long-awaited Taco Bell unit that promises to “redefine the drive-thru” is scheduled to open in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota this week, proving things have come a long way from the garbled squawk-box ordering of the past.

Dubbed the “Taco Bell Defy” — and once described as looking like a “Demolition Man” prophesy come true — the two-story restaurant features a four-lane drive-thru, digital check-in screens using QR codes for mobile orders, a vertical lift to send orders down to cars, and two-way video communication with restaurant staffers on the unit’s second floor.

“Taco Bell Defy is an incredible innovation for our brand, and one that’s meeting our consumer in a really unique way," said Mike Grams, Taco Bell president and global chief operating officer, in a statement.

"For decades, we’ve been committed to providing a fast, safe and friendly drive-thru experience; now 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.” 

Designed by Minneapolis-based Vertical Works, the unit is operated by franchisee Border Foods. Co-founder and Border Foods CEO Lee Engler described the new unit as “a creative, technological solution for a faster, contactless experience for as many Taco Bell fans as possible and is poised to be the future of quick-service dining.”