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Taco Bots? New automated Taco Bell to bring mobile taco future to Cheyenne

(John Rodel)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Cheyenne residents who are craving some late-night tacos may feel like they are living in the future as they make their usual trip to Taco Bell. 

The fast-food restaurant had everyone in town speculating what was happening when they tore down their popular building on Dell Range Boulevard. There was some fear among the Taco Bell faithful that the COVID-19 pandemic had claimed another Cheyenne eatery. Turns out Taco Bell was just planning for the future as they began construction of their new “Go Mobile” restaurant. 

While there is no exact date for when construction will be complete on their new franchise, there is one thing already very evident: There will be no other counter-service restaurant like this in Cheyenne. 

In addition to enhancing restaurants, Taco Bell continues to improve on other aspects of the QSR experience that customers are looking for right now, like speed. The brand has shared that the average time spent in a drive-thru has been reduced by more than 15 seconds since the first quarter of 2020. Taco Bell has also recently rolled out other digital innovations outside of the restaurant experience. 

Launched nationally in July, the Taco Bell mobile app’s new beta loyalty program gives fans a deeper level of customization in both what they’re ordering and now how they’re ordering. Taco Bell’s focus on improving drive-thru service and encouraging guests to order ahead unlocks a faster and more accurate restaurant experience than ever before. Through the pandemic and beyond, Taco Bell will continue to introduce new ways to modernize the customer experience.

(John Rodel)

“With demand for our drive-thru at an all-time high, we know adapting to meet our consumers’ rapidly changing needs has never been more important,” said Taco Bell President, Global COO Mike Grams. “The Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurant concept is not only an evolved physical footprint but a completely synchronized digital experience centered around streamlining guest access points. For the first time, our guests will have the ability to choose the pick-up experience that best fits their needs, all while never leaving the comfort of their cars.”

Taco Bell’s Go Mobile restaurants will have two drive-thru lanes: one conventional lane where customers can order on-site with “bellhops” operating mobile tablets, and one mobile pick-up lane where customers can get food they’ve ordered ahead via Taco Bell’s mobile app. Contactless curbside pick-up is additionally available to customers.

It has two drive-thru lanes, but one is dedicated entirely to mobile app orders.

With the demand at drive-thrus higher than ever, the company says this should cut down on wait times.

“You place your order and then when you drive up to the store, the store knows you’re here by geofencing,” Taco Bell marketing director Jessica Woodburn said. “And you go right through the dedicated mobile drive-thru, you give your name, pull up to the window, pick up your order and off you go.”

Woodburn offered this recap of what consumers who want to make a “run for the border” in Cheyenne can expect:

  • Minimization: Taco Bell Go Mobile locations house several new digital advancements, all within 1,325 square feet — a much smaller footprint compared to the average 2,500-square-foot Taco Bell restaurant.
  • Dual Drive-Thru: The new concept will have two drive-thru lanes including a new priority pick-up lane with rapid service for customers who order via the Taco Bell app. This new lane will supplement the existing, traditional lane.
  • Synchronized Digital Experience: Powered by smart kitchen technology that’s integrated with the Taco Bell app.
  • Curbside Pick-Up: Taco Bell Go Mobile customers also have the option to receive their order via contactless curbside pick-up, another convenient alternative that modern consumers are looking for.
  • Bellhops: To streamline guests’ experiences even further, Taco Bell Go Mobile will also include tablet ordering in drive-thrus and curbside pickup, both of which will be operated by a concierge service of team members, known as “bellhops.”

There is no doubt that the battle for Taco Supremacy in Cheyenne just entered into a brand new and futuristic phase.