The Daily Rail: Taco Bell Ditches Drive-Thru & Adds Booze

Friday, September 22, 2017


Today's Specials: 


HACK: Do You Know Which Wing Flavor Your Guests Think is Super? [Sponsored by Frank’s King of Wings]

Looking for a sweet sports bar marketing idea? How about running a chicken wing flavor tourney and crowning the winner?





Streaming Expands to Networks

The up-and-coming streaming services of DirecTV and fuboTV are growing. CBS, the CW, and Fox will now be available to more subscribers on both streaming services with hopes that more people will be attracted to their services.  


5-Stories of Chicken

The world’s biggest Chick-Fil-A restaurant will be coming to NYC and will honor the memory of the World Trade Center. The five-story restaurant is set to open in September 2018, will be 12,000 square feet, and will offer a clear rooftop view of the Freedom Tower.


MealPal Dominates the Market

On-demand food startups have come a long way and are stiff competition for restaurants. However, one of the latest meal-plan companies, MealPal, allows users to subscribe to a list of restaurant take-out and dinners for a fixed monthly price and will cover the difference of cost. More noteworthy, they announced a staggering $20 million in funding. Blue Apron is probably feeling, blue.



Why it matters to you: Will fast casual morph into quasi-full service?

You know Taco Bell, or at least you may from a late night drunken haze experience of nachos belgrande induced regret the next morning. The mammoth purveyor of inoffensive middle-Americanized Mexican cuisine is now building units that won’t include drive-thru, but will include beer, wine, sangria, and other spirits. Their parent company YUM Brands plans on building 300 such units to capitalize on the fast-casual assault on their full-service competitors, and join chains like Chipotle that are leveraging booze as a differentiator.

Of course, this makes total sense if you want to access a Millennial market that craves a decent atmosphere with a good adult beverage selection and an affordable price. This is the generation that is willing to forgo full service in favor of inexpensive but high quality. Given the meteoric rise of operators like Panera and Chipotle (also capable of a meteoric fall, btw) it’s no surprise that the savvy thinkers at YUM want in on that market. Can you compete? Of course. By upping the quality of the experience, Millennials will support you and reward you with their business. Just try not to be as cookie cutter as the average chain operator and learn their names for crying out loud!



Why it matters to you: Airbnb and Resy merge to bring more tourists to restaurants.

Tourism has brought significant business for restaurants which increases their bottom line drastically at peak times of the year. Airbnb’s room-renting service has partnered with the restaurant reservation app Resy to bring restaurants an added wave of tourists through their doors. As users book their Airbnb accommodation, they will be added to an in-app itinerary and map featuring local restaurants where they can make reservations within the Airbnb app. The company has also invested $13 million in Resy last January.

Restaurants are a very distinctive representation of a city and are a great match for tourists to visit. Some of the important aspects of this partnership are the substantial business that will be brought to restaurants, and sometimes, from people unfamiliar with the area. The Airbnb and Resy partnership are not the only travel-restaurant merge. In 2014, TripAdvisor bought a similar French reservation service, but it wasn’t incorporated into the company’s app. Overall these business decisions should be closely monitored by restaurant operators as a means of increasing profit and ceasing opportunity within the tourism industry.

Hero image courtesy of NY Daily News