Taco Bell Channels the Fast Casual Atmosphere with Re-design

Say goodbye to Taco Bell’s pink and purple signature look! The brand recently announced that it’s time for a brand refresh.

The quick-serve mogul plans to open 2,000 new stores by 2020, 200 of which will be in urban areas. All the estimated stores will feature one of the four new restaurant designs.

“Building new restaurants is a key component to the overall growth and evolution of Taco Bell,” said Brian Niccol, Chief Executive Officer at Taco Bell Corp in a recent press release. “Great design, Great Food and Great Economics is at the heart of our growth.”

A Whole New Taco Bell

The stores with the fresher look will initially be opened in Orange County, California. Each of the four designs have their own theme that will reflect the communities of where they are located.

Here’s the lowdown of each design:

  1. The “Modern Explorer” will portray a rustic style and is a more elevated version of the chain’s “Cantina Explorer” restaurants. The focus of this design is to offer the customer with more transparency about where the food is coming from.
  2. The “Heritage” design is inspired by the chain’s original Mexican culinary roots. It will mimic the brand’s initial look in the Mission Revival-style. These stores will feature warm white walls and more classic/natural materials (no more plastic.)
  3. The “California Sol” stores are inspired by the California lifestyle. It will offer a “laid-back beach” feel with seating inside and outside.
  4. The “Urban Edge” store look will represent an urban culture with both international and street style.

Each of these styles are channeling the fast casual atmosphere and are drastically different than the current stores of the chain.

“While all four restaurant designs each have a different contextual personality, they all share a commonality in expressing Taco Bell’s brand like never before,” said Marisa Thalberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Taco Bell Corp in a press release. “From the open kitchen that showcases our freshly prepared foods to the community tables designed for friends to hang out, each of these formats fosters a modern, unique experience.”

Goodbye Quick-serve, Hello Quick-serve Plus?

It’s safe to say that consumers were diggin’ the “Cantina” concepts that the chain opened in 2015 in San Francisco and Chicago. This has influenced the chain to do a major redesign.

The brand is borrowing the open kitchen design and the more inviting atmosphere from several popular fast casual concepts. Is this the beginning of the end of the quick-serve segment as we know it? Will other quick-serve chains follow suit and quick-serve plus will become the new norm?

“It’s no longer one size fits all,” stated Deborah Brand, VP of Development and Design at Taco Bell Corp in a press release. “Consumers are looking for localized, customized and personalized experiences that reflect the diversity of their communities – the flexibility in bringing these four designs to life gives us just that.”

The chain not only will be setting 2,000 new designed stores, but it plans to remodel more stores than it did last year. Taco Bell opened 275 new stores and remodeled 600 in 2015 alone.