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Taco Bell Grows Digital Capabilities By Expanding Rewards Program

Taco Bell is growing its digital capabilities through an expansion of its Rewards program, letting fans earn points on purchases made in-restaurant, through drive-thrus and on digital kiosks — all in the name of unlocking rewards, according to an announcement.

Moreover, Rewards members will get the chance to win free tacos for a year for scanning a barcode in the app when making an in-restaurant purchase until August 18.

Taco Bell Rewards members have gotten early access to limited-time menu items, including the Naked Chicken Chalupa and Quesalupa, in addition to exclusive access to the Build Your Own Cravings Box. The company’s app sales have grown 90 percent since the Rewards program was introduced in July 2020.

“If there’s one thing the Rewards program taught us in the first year, it’s how eager our fans are for even more digitally enabled and personalized ways to gain access to the brand,” said Taco Bell Chief Digital Officer Zipporah Allen in the company announcement.

Taco Bell’s Go Mobile concept uses digital tools to help on-the-go customers access curbside pickup, dual drive-thru lanes with a priority pickup lane and Taco Bell concierges called “bellhops.”

The company’s Cantina in Times Square replaces traditional menu boards with 10 digital kiosks, as well as in-app and third-party delivery app ordering and digital pick-up cubbies. The location has double the production lines of a typical Taco Bell.

Taco Bell is using a “Dine-ins, Drive-Thrus and Digital” philosophy on the road to having 10,000 restaurants this decade.

“By staying flexible in our restaurant formats and features, we’ll be able to continue creating unique environments and experiences for any customer,” Mike Grams, the chain’s president and global chief operating officer, told PYMNTS in a recent conversation. One new Taco Bell location has a game zone, full-service bar and an outdoor firepit.

Across the industry, Grams noted, major QSR chains have been turning to technological innovations to streamline operations. In addition to doing this, Taco Bell looks to create immersive experiences that go beyond providing efficiency and convenience.

“We’re looking more holistically to a multitude of different concepts, pushing boundaries and tapping into the power of franchisees’ entrepreneurial spirits to create restaurants that are truly special,” said Grams.

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