Reviews

First Impressions: The Taco Bell Mobile App

You should be able to reasonably order a meal from the new Taco Bell app in 1 minute and 30 seconds. That’s fast.

Want proof? Check out the embedded video below. We created this at NextRestaurants — it wasn’t provided by Taco Bell nor altered in any way to speed up the process. Key takeaways below the video, keep scrolling down.

Say what you want about Taco Bell’s food. We never really discuss food here — it’s about the marketing. And overall, it’s a really great app.

Click the YouTube play button in the middle of the video below. 

Positive Takeaways

  • It’s fast
  • It doesn’t require you to create an account to order or pay
  • It’s a — dare I say — beautiful interface
  • Your order isn’t prepared until you’re close by
  • You can customize your order in any way
  • You can choose to have receipts emailed or texted to you (after creating an account)
  • Nutrition information is available
  • Upsell offers display on the checkout screen

My Recommendations

  • Bigger Back button
  • Bigger Checkout button

Overall, this is a great app from a QSR brand that knows its audience and that audience’s visit frequency really well. And it begs this question, yet again.

Should Your Restaurant Launch a Mobile App?

We’ve covered our take on whether your restaurant chain should launch an app some time back, and we’ll stick with it. Check that article out. We also invited Ben Jabbawy, co-founder of Privy, to weigh-in with a counterpoint on the subject.

And I’m happy to point you to a follow-up by Jake Cohen, Ben’s co-founder, that argues you’ll abandon your mobile app within 12-24 months. He makes a great case for holding off and putting your resources behind Apple Pay instead.

Read:  Restaurant Marketing News and Ideas 2/11/2014

But in short, it’s like this, to me. It doesn’t need to be either/or.

If your restaurant concept or chain has a loyal following that visits frequently already; if you’ve got a true brand that stands out; if you’re ready to market the heck out of your new mobile app, or if you’ve got a real need and opportunity to speed up the ordering process for customers and shorten the lines in your QSR or Fast Casual locations — you should at least consider an app.

This is an exercise in R&D

The demographic and psychographic data you’ll be able to pull from app users is extraordinary.

Consumers increasingly spend time on their smartphones in apps, not in their mobile browser. That bodes well for you if you’re leaning towards an app. Having said that, not even the craziest foodie is going to download a dozen restaurants’ apps on their smartphone. Partially that’s because no one has nailed a lightning-fast consumer experience yet.

But we’re getting there…and this Taco Bell mobile app is proof of that.

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of NextRestaurants.com. He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.