On Tuesday, Oct. 28, the world changed.
No more are we as a society chained to the register of the world’s greatest fast food establishment. Taco Bell, a world-renown savior of the midnight munchies, re-vamped its smartphone app, adding an Earth-shattering feature.
To say I’m being too emphatic about this would be erroneous in both emotion and logic. This is the future. Sure, Taco Bell is not the first to do online order from a phone, but it's so well-executed that it’s impossible to overlook how incredible it is. It’s pleasant... and addicting. Also, it’s Taco Bell.
The process of buying food that you may or may not regret eating later is so simple it’s almost stupid. The app has been designed in a such way that gets directly to the point. You want Taco Bell and you want it now. Once you save whatever payment method you want to use, purchasing your savory bounty is only a few taps away. Select a location, add items to your “cart”, checkout and then the magic happens. At your leisure, simply go to the Palace of Tacos you selected. When you arrive, choose whether you will be picking your order up in-store or in the drive-thru.
Only once you’ve indicated your method of arrival, only then will they begin to prepare your food. After all, no one wants a cold Crunchwrap (Supreme!).
The only drawback to the app is the layout of the menu. Everything is clearly defined and organized for each type of item, but there are no images or prices. Thankfully, you aren’t charged for anything until you double-confirm it with the security code from the back of your credit or debit card. Clearly, the app is designed for people who know exactly what they want and how to get it. But seriously, how could you not know what Taco Bell sells?
The app also is full of clever phrasings. From the way it entices you into its loving, delicious arms, to the way it names its food categories (“Hand-Rolled Perfection”—Burritos—is my favorite). The app knows how awesome it is and goes out of its way to make sure you have a great time using it.
Since the service is so new, I can’t blame any employee for being a bit confused or unfamiliar with the process, regardless of the extent of their pre-launch training. It’s a fast business and sometimes it takes a while to get the hang of new (and really really awesome) things.
So aside from some brief confusion from the cashier, receiving my delectable treasure trove of goodness was relatively painless. I simply walked in and gave them my name. In what seemed like no time at all, my order was in my hand and I was out the door, smiling like a buffoon. I felt like a king conquering the world, ready to take on any fast food chain that dares to challenge my expectations of service. It was near-flawless.
Taco Bell is also planning on adding special deals exclusively through the app. As of this writing, they are offering $1 Freezies, which is a crazy-good deal because they are delicious.
The true power of the app lies within its secrets, though. Apparently, there are menu items only available through the app. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar enough with the menu to know what’s “secret” and what isn’t. Just give me my Doritos Locos taco and Mexican Pizza and I’m a happy camper.
To say I’m elated about this whole thing would be an understatement. I hope other fast food chains follow suit. Right now, it’s too early to see how this will impact day-to-day working conditions for the employees, but from what I could tell, the orders simply show up on their screens when the customer indicates they’ve arrived. If anything, it could make it easier since they have a bit more time to prepare the food before a customer might become impatient. But if you know Taco Bell, you know the best things are worth waiting for.
I had Taco Bell for breakfast this morning and I’ll probably have it again for dinner simply because it’s so easy and fun. Quite frankly, it’s life-changing.