Taco Bell Now Lets You Order Food From Your Phone

Yum! Brands-owned Taco Bell has updated its iPhone and Android mobile apps to support food customization, ordering and payment. Ordering through Taco Bell’s Android and iPhone apps allows you to skip the line when you arrive too. Taco Bell’s new mobile ordering app works for in-store and drive-thru purchases.

Around 70% of Taco Bell’s orders are drive-thru and 30% are in-store. Fifty percent of the in-store purchases are takeaway. This means that Taco Bell customers want to quickly pick up their food and get back to the library, school or work. Providing customers with a way to speed up the ordering process could drive more business for Taco Bell. Adding mobile ordering to the Taco Bell app is part of a broader corporate plan to increase system-wide sales to $14 billion in 2022 by opening 2,000 more restaurant locations and improving its technology.

You can pay for your orders using credit cards or Taco Bell cards before arriving at the restaurant. Currently, the app does not have a pickup time feature. The app sends you a notification when you are within 500 feet of the location asking, “would you like us to start preparing your food?” If you do not want to share your location with the Taco Bell app, then you can manually alert the counter or drive-thru when you arrive.

Each taco, burrito, quesadilla, Crunchwrap Supreme, Gordita, Chalupa, Nachos Bel Grande, Grilled Stuft burrito, Meximelt, etc. order can be heavily-customized through the app. You can request different kinds of meats and cheeses for your order. And you can request extra rice, sour cream and lettuce in your burrito. “There are literally billions of combinations of Taco Bell ingredients that you can put into this thing,” said Taco Bell chief marketing officer Chris Brandt via Fast Company. “But it isn’t just a nice little marketing exercise. We think it has a great business application too.” Over 50% of Taco Bell’s customers place the same order each time they visit so there is a section called “most ordered” in the app as well.

Taco Bell is not the only restaurant franchise that has found ways to improve customer service through a mobile app. McDonald’s and Panera Bread are two of the first restaurants to support Apple Apple Pay, which is Apple’s new near-field communication digital wallet app. Chipotle Mexican Grill Chipotle Mexican Grill’s mobile ordering app launched all the way back in August 2009. On November 4th, Outback Steakhouse will launch a Click Thru Seating tool to see restaurant wait times and add names to wait lists. And the Domino's Pizza Domino's Pizza mobile app lets users customize their pizzas, place an order and track the preparation/delivery progress. Starbucks Starbucks’ mobile app — which drives millions of transactions ever week — lets users pay, tip baristas and build rewards. Taco Bell also plans to add reward points to its app in the future, thus encouraging repeat business. For example, freeze drinks will cost only $1 for app users.

Taco Bell App / iTunes Screenshot

Taco Bell App / iTunes Screenshot

Taco Bell Social Media Blackout
Today Taco Bell blacked out their Facebook Page, Twitter account and Instagram profile to highlight the new mobile ordering app exclusively. The TacoBell.com website was also blacked out to promote the app. The blackout campaign encouraged Taco Bell fans to use the hashtag #onlyintheapp on social media websites. Each of the social media profile pages link to the Taco Bell app. Taco Bell fans that already have the app will receive an automatic update to support mobile ordering. Here are screenshots of Taco Bell’s Twitter account, Facebook Page, Instagram profile and website from today:

Screenshot of Taco Bell's Twitter account / October 28, 2014

Screenshot of Taco Bell’s Twitter account / October 28, 2014

Screenshot of Taco Bell's Facebook account / October 28, 2014

Screenshot of Taco Bell’s Facebook account / October 28, 2014

Screenshot of Taco Bell's Instagram account / October 28, 2014

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