Grab your branded tote bag and hat, swing by the Freeze Wall and mix a nice, stiff whiskey and cola, then sit down in the VIP Lounge with some appetizers and listen to the DJ.
It may not sound like Taco Bell, but it very much is part of the whole new sound the brand is ringing out from behind the glass walls of first flagship location, opening today in, of course, Vegas baby. The new cantina site marks the brand’s 7,000th restaurant, and comes with all sorts of new stuff, including a logo refresh and Taco Shop merchandise, like branded bikinis, rings (this is Vegas, after all) and funky hats.
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If it all sounds a bit surreal for a brand that at one time had a decidedly Mexican-sounding Chihuahua for its official spokes … dog, well, that is well intended. Parent company, Yum Brands said this is all part of the chain’s overall «evolution» in the restaurant game toward what it hopes will be a $15 billion brand in about five years’ time.
«If you’re going to throw a party to celebrate the growth and evolution of your brand, there’s no better place to hold it than Las Vegas,» said Taco Bell CMO Marisa Thalberg, who added that the brand will add 2,000 more restaurants and 100,000 new U.S. jobs by 2022. «This flagship restaurant is our ultimate expression of the Taco Bell brand and lifestyle.»
The Vegas location is open around the clock and is the fourth rendition of the brand’s cantina concept. Previous cantinas have opened in Chicago’s Wicker Park, SOMA San Francisco and Austin, Texas. This location also offers liquor via its Freeze Wall, with eight drink taps for flavors like Margarita, Cola and Pina Colada, that diners can mix with tequila, rum and spiced rum, vodka and whiskey, while they watch the pros at work in the open kitchen or share what a press release said are «tapas-style appetizers.»
Technology at the flagship includes digital menu boards, as well as order monitors tracking progress of each diner’s food, portable ordering tablets, and 16 screens with entertainment, live-stream video, sports and social media conversations. The site also has space for a deejay, tap wall, VIP lounge and outdoor patio, and the walls will feature custom artwork.
Digital roll-out of the refreshed logo, created with Lippincott and TBD, the brand’s internal design team, takes place today according to a release. The brand has remodeled 600 restaurants last year and about that number this year. But the big growth for the system location-wise in the next five years takes place in urban areas, where many cities are currently experiencing a resurgence in population and development in the U.S.
Urban locations of Taco Bell will have open kitchens, a different décor, open plating and lots of shareable menu items and local artwork. A news release said the next future urban and cantina sites are being developed in Cincinnati, Berkeley, Fayetteville, San Antonio and Cleveland.
Fuente: QSR Web
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