Businesses have had to change their ways because of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world unpredictably. Fast food giants like Taco Bell had to go extreme measures to keep the outlets running, and that included cutting down menu items to make the process more streamlined for people working every day.
Even during the slowest times the world has seen, Taco Bell has reported that store margins have gone up because of the strategy followed by them trimming a few menu items. Customers might not be as happy with the removal of menu items, but more is coming from the brand shortly.
Heather Mottershaw, the Vice president of product development at Taco Bell, has also informed me that the reduction happening now is only a part of the menu evolution process. Innovative products will soon be back on the menu.
Mottershaw added in one his statements: “We need to make sure right now that we are giving consumers what they want and that they’re getting it through the drive-thru.” The process of streamlining the menu will only be better for the customers and eventually increase the service’s speed, which is much needed today.
Taco Bell believes this is what’s right for their customers right now, and when the timing would be right, more innovative items would be back on the menu. Given this is phase one, details of the second phase haven’t been released as such. The innovation team seems to be still working on the process after the brand has seen a few slow months.
Since March, the top priority of Taco Bell and similar brands has been to deliver the needs to their customers, which meant a push on the more comfortable menu items. The function process was made simpler over time, so everyone was safe and still able to get their food easily.
It wasn’t until Cinco de Mayo that the wave on creative products picked up a little. It is when the trend of families spending time together in quarantine, ordering in groups came up. Soon, the grilled cheese burrito also saw the light, which is an upscaled version of the basic grilled cheese sandwich.
Mottershaw says that the Grilled cheese burrito is a great addition to the menu and a safe innovation while being something they would do. As per earlier plans, the launch was supposed to be much later in the belief that customers might not be ready. Although a great response has been received, which shows customers are ready for more menu items.
Another item to be added to the Detroit menu is lined up already for the brand. Crispy taco melts. Mottershaw has described it as “freshly-fried white corn shell with a layer of nacho cheese on top served with either beef or black beans and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.”
The innovation team has had to step back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and them stepping in right now still doesn’t mean things would be back in full swing. A lot has become virtual for the brand, including getting customer response, which is their premise for working.
The lack of a shared kitchen space made things different, but in June, the team had come back in small groups. Tastings were done after that by providing products to customers which they could take home.
The brand has agreed on getting better insights from the new way that they have adapted themselves to. A lot for them has moved from the core kitchen to the drive-thru, which makes things a lot more real.