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Taco Bell sets goal of 10,000 U.S. restaurants

Taco Bell’s digital-forward Go Mobile format has no indoor dining space.
Taco Bell’s digital-forward Go Mobile format has no indoor dining space.

Taco Bell is leveraging its new restaurant concepts to fuel growth. 

The quick-serve giant, which recently named a new CEO, is on track to operate 10,000 U.S. based restaurants in the coming years, up from its current total of approximately 7,500.  To drive its growth, Taco Bell will leverage a variety of formats, ranging from urban-oriented “Cantinas” to the  new iteration of its digital-forward, small-box restaurant model, “Go Mobile.” 

Taco Bell opened the first new interaction of Go Mobile in March, in El Paso, Tex., followed by a second location in Columbus, Ga. With more digital touchpoints than any other Taco Bell restaurant, the format leverages technology to create more touchpoints for consumers to order and pick up in a seamless experience. Elements of the new restaurants will be incorporated into future builds. 

“This concept was created to provide solutions for an industry-wide problem — drive-thru bottlenecks —  by eliminating the indoor dining area and adding dedicated parking for mobile and delivery orders with an outdoor pick-up window and grab-and-go shelves,” Taco Bell said.


Along with expanding its digital footprint, Taco Bell is expanding its Cantina format.  Each Cantina is designed to match the ambience of its location with urban designs, open kitchen concepts and alcoholic drinks.  The newest model uses the latest technology to ensure that each location offers the best experience possible to customers and associates, the company said.

In 2023, Taco Bell plans to add multiple new Cantina locations, with new additions planned to open in  Indianapolis and downtown Los Angeles by the end of the year.


Taco Bell noted that an essential piece of bringing its new innovative concepts to life is supporting the teams inside and outside the restaurant.  In 2020, the chain introduced the “touch kitchen display system,” a technology that gives employees the capability to prioritize orders based on size and complexity, access build cards and share orders with other team members. As a result, orders are delivered with increased efficiency and accuracy, the company said. 

Taco Bell is continuing to roll out the system to most of its restaurants by the end of this year and introduce an all-new open-kitchen floor plan that focuses on team member ergonomics.

Outside the restaurant, Taco Bell and its franchisee partners prioritize expanding team members scholarships and mentorship programs to help pursue their dream. Tacala Companies, a Taco Bell franchisee that just recently opened its 350th restaurant in Auburn, Ala., has set the bar high, offering Team Tacala Scholarships that have changed lives by awarding over $1.4 million to 650 employees since 2014. 

Taco Bell is part of Yum! Brands, based in Louisville, Ky., and its subsidiaries franchise or operate a system of over 55,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories. The company’s brands include KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and the Habit Burger Grill. 


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