Taco Bell has launched its new virtual restaurant and Website, ta.co, which will allow customers to customize, order and pay for food in advance. The new site gives customers access to the full Taco Bell menu and to flavor combinations that they never knew existed. This new technology offers a seamless experience across mobile devices, tablets and personal computers.
“Innovation has always been a part of Taco Bell’s core, and ta.co is our latest promise to make the brand accessible whenever, wherever and however consumers want it,” said Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol. “At Taco Bell, we’re rooted in delivering delicious, craveable and affordable Mexican-inspired food. We use technology, design and a heavy dose of creativity to deliver on that promise, all while making our brand more relevant to digital savvy customers.”
ta.co is more than a creative Website celebrating the brand’s core product – tacos. It redefines e-commerce for the fast food industry. It features richer content, access to more information and a complete design overhaul to speak directly with the brand’s core Millennial fans. It is another step in the brand’s commitment to round the clock access and discovery.
Key features include:
- Online ordering: A new, exciting feature of the website. Due to the success of our mobile app, fans can now place orders and pay ahead for in-store pick up, where they even get to skip to the front of the line inside the restaurant.
- Customization: With ta.co, you can personalize every meal and create your own culinary masterpiece, and save your orders so you always remember your favorite creations.
- Search: Simply type in any product name and the smart search feature will serve up quick recommendations to order fast.
- The Feed: A culturally relevant publishing channel where we’re curating new content into one easy-to-access place for fans. When we collaborate with people, companies and cultural icons, The Feed will be the place to find in-depth and behind-the-scenes details, creating a new way for fans to experience what they already love about Taco Bell.
- Nutrition calculator: Transparency has been, and always will be, an important part of Taco Bell’s food journey. ta.co features a new nutrition calculator, making it easier to access ingredient information specifically for your custom order.
- Careers: A careers section is prominently featured on ta.co, allowing people to quickly find the latest information about available positions within our restaurants and our corporate headquarters.
Digital Innovation & On Demand
To further the brand’s commitment to easy, convenient and amazing experiences, Taco Bell formed a Digital Innovation & On Demand team to identify where technology can exceed the wants and needs of customers and team members in real-time to ignite a superior experience. The lean, nimble team includes cross-functional members who embrace a holistic approach to the business.
“The Digital Innovation & On Demand team applies a start-up mindset to everything we do, quickly prototyping and solving customer needs in innovative ways every day,” said Tressie Lieberman, vice president of digital. “The team is focused on improving productivity, questioning the status quo and piloting new ways of working.”
While ta.co is the latest initiative from this team, the company started its digital innovation journey with the nationwide launch of its mobile ordering and pay app, Live Más, last fall. The app received a phenomenal response, resulting in 3.7 million downloads and check growth of 30%, largely driven by customization. Since then, the Digital Innovation & On Demand team has focused on a variety of initiatives including ta.co and more:
- Delivery: This summer the team spearheaded a partnership with DoorDash to roll out delivery service in more than 200 markets. This work will continue to be a priority as the company will continue to expand delivery to additional markets nationwide.
- Beta Living: Testing prototypes to digitalize and enhance the in-store experience is underway at one of the company’s Irvine, Calif. restaurant locations. Prototypes include:
- Ordering kiosks, allowing consumers to have fun and get creative making customized creations in the restaurant, all at the touch of their fingertips.
- A virtual kitchen where customers can see their food being made to order in the back of the restaurant via a monitor located at the front of the restaurant.
- A digital communication board to inform every restaurant team member about the latest news, rather than posting paper updates.
- Gamification: With the launch of the Taco Bell app, the company has obtained live feedback and analytics to help evolve the platform. The next big release will include a gamified feature to reflect the brand and drive loyalty, launching in late 2015 and revolutionizing the customer experience in a uniquely Taco Bell way.
As part of Taco Bell’s overall growth plan, more focus will be put on the rise of the on-demand economy and how the brand can provide ultimate convenience and ease for customers and employees online and in-line.