Today, society focuses on making the smart, smarter; the thin, thinner; and the quick, quicker. Embracing this trend, Taco Bell’s (YUM) new mobile application aims to make ordering fast food even faster.
About a week ago Taco Bell “blacked out” its social media pages in an attempt to raise awareness for its new app, displaying the simple Twitter (TWTR) hashtag "#OnlyInTheApp." After just one day, the advertising campaign showed signs of success, with 75% of applicable Taco Bell restaurants having processed a mobile order. The Taco Bell application quickly shot up Apple's (AAPL) App Store charts and landed the primary spot in the “Food and Beverage” section. Taco Bell’s social media pages have since returned to their original state, but the app continues to gain popularity.
Once a user comes within 500 feet of a Taco Bell store, an automated notification is sent to the kitchen to start preparing the customer’s food. This way, mobile customers get to skip the line and move directly to the front to pick up their order.
But in all seriousness, what makes this application quicker than ordering fast food at the store? It turns out that Taco Bell's app differentiates itself from competition by allowing users to link their orders to a credit card. Hence, customers can seamlessly receive their food without waiting in line or having to scan barcodes. Customers can also choose if they want to go inside to eat their food, or pick it up via the drive-through.
The application also provides customers the option to completely customize their order by adding or omitting ingredients; Taco Bell also has plans to add customizable specials for app users. These features arrive courtesy of Taco Bell’s CMO, Chris Brandt, who reasoned that the blackout marketing tactic resulted in nationwide brand attention; social media buzz and curiosity were enough to drive interested iPhone users to the App Store. After that, it was just a matter of time until the Taco Bell app arrived on millions of smartphones.