Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

New 'cantina-style' Taco Bells to serve alcohol, ditch drive-thrus by 2022

Taco Bell is ditching drive-thrus and adding alcohol.

Well, at least in 300 to 350 new stores that the Tex-Mex chain plans to open across the country by 2022.

According to Food & Wine, Taco Bell will open hundreds of locations in the United States with a revamped "cantina style" layout that does not accommodate drive-thrus and tacks on beer and liquor to the menu.

Yes, alcohol will be served at Taco Bell.

On the menu will be sangria, beer and Twisted Freezes — slushies with rum, vodka or tequila.

The chain aims to make its presence known in urban areas, where most of the new stores are slated to open. Taco Bell currently operates more than 7,000 restaurants worldwide and 5,604 in the U.S.

The new-and-improved "urban in-line" stores will be designed to feature local artwork, digital menu boards and open kitchens. Customers will be able to watch their food being cooked.

"One of the cool things happening in America right now is the revitalization of urban areas, and we're seeing millennials moving into downtown areas," Mike Grams, Taco Bell's chief operating officer, told Food & Wine.

The cantinas' smaller scale and hipper atmosphere highlight that the chain "isn't afraid to try new things," Grams said.

And that certainly rings true as this isn't the first time Taco Bell has attempted to revolutionize its brand.

Earlier this year, the chain partnered with taxi-like service Lyft, adding a feature to the company's app called "Taco Mode" that takes riders to nearby Taco Bell restaurants on the way to their destinations.

Another interesting point: According to Food & Wine, the chain's drive-thrus make up around 55 to 70 percent of its revenue.

Getting rid of them in hundreds of new stores?

Bold move, Taco Bell.

Contact Samantha Putterman at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @samputterman.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Published: 06/22/18
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Published: 06/22/18
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Published: 06/22/18
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Published: 06/22/18
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18