IRVINE, Calif., (September 28, 2015) – As part of its ongoing commitment to use technology to further improve the fast food experience, Taco Bell® today is launching ta.co, the brand’s new virtual flagship restaurant and website that allows consumers to customize, place and pay for their order in advance. ta.co gives users the keys to the Taco Bell kitchen how they want it: across mobile devices, tablets, laptops and desktop 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, where ever 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 media, 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. Similar to our mobile app, fans can now place orders for in-store pick up, where they even get to skip to the front of the line.
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 dishes.
Search: Simply type in any ingredient and all menu items featuring it will populate for a completely personalized experience.
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.<.p>
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 and nutrition information specifically for your custom order.
Careers: A careers section is prominently featured on ta.co, allowing consumers to quickly find the latest information about available positions at their local restaurant 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 help meet the wants and needs of customers and team members in real-time and ignite a superior experience. The small, nimble team includes cross-functional members and takes a holistic approach to business.
“The Digital Innovation & On Demand team applies a start-up mindset to everything we do, quickly testing and applying technology in innovative ways every day,” said Tressie Lieberman, Vice President of Digital. “The team is focused on improving productivity, questioning the status quo and trying 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 gave fans the keys to the kitchen, resulting in 3.5 million downloads and check growth of 30 percent, 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 restaurant locations. Prototypes include:
Ordering kiosks, allowing consumers to have fun and get creative making customized creations, without the worry of holding up the line.
A virtual kitchen where customers can see food being made fresh in the back of the restaurant via a monitor located at the front of the restaurant.
A digital communication board to inform every employee about the latest news rather than posting paper updates.
Loyalty: With the launch of the Live Más app, the company has obtained live feedback and analytics to help evolve the platform. As a result, a gamified loyalty reward program is launching in late 2015, revolutionizing the customer loyalty program 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, in-line and on the front line nationwide.