Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) and its Taco Bell brand announced Thursday a plan to test what it calls "fast social" restaurants as part of a longer-term goal of becoming a $20 billion brand with 10,000 stores worldwide.
Taco Bell's roots trace back to being a "staple in suburban communities" and the company started expanding to urban areas in 2015 through its "Cantina" stores. The more modern and upscale store format includes kiosks and digital menu boards and some locations serve alcohol.
On Thursday the company said it is ready to take its stores to the next level with a focus on social.
Taco Bell President and Global Chief Operating Officer Mike Grams says in the press release customers want to "engage with the brand in a way that amplifies their social nature." The company's new "fast social" concept will emphasize "dynamic dining rooms and lean into social gatherings."
Why It's Important
The "fast-social" stores will emphasize "the most technology-forward" concepts that provide for a smooth ordering experience and "showcases digital moments throughout the restaurant," the company said. Other ideas and concepts include restaurants that focus on gaming where consumers will be able to play video games and eat their favorite Taco Bell items at the same time.
Taco Bell's first new concept restaurant will open this fall near Times Square in New York City. The gaming-themed location will open prior to the end of the third quarter.