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Taco Bell's New App Is Latest Attempt To Win Millennials

Taco Bell unveiled its new app Tuesday with the ability to order food on your mobile device and skip lines at the restaurant.
Posted at 1:50 PM, Oct 29, 2014

As if the term wasn’t already fast food, Taco Bell believes it’s now found a way for you to skip the lines … and for the chain to grow that millennial customer base that’s been so resistant to fast food in the first place.

Taco Bell unveiled a new app Tuesday that allows customers to place an order on their mobile devices and skip lines to pick up their food. USA Today’s social media team notes Taco Bell introduced some menu items exclusive to the app.

Props to the Bell for a very clever marketing strategy ahead of the app rollout — going dark.

All of the chain’s official social media accounts literally went black to keep the focus on the new app. Facebook, Twitter, even the YouTube channel deleted all content, save one Tuesday post.

But will the app work? Or — like so many recent fast food experiments — get some early attention without largely impacting the brand? (Video via Taco Bell)

There was the McDonald’s experiment in Florida with 800 restaurants guaranteeing you’d get your food in one minute or get a voucher for free food in the future.

And, of course, that chain has also launched a Q&A ad campaign to dispel rumors about the quality of its ingredients and meat.

It’s not hard to see why the big brands are trying to rebrand with slumping profits. McDonald’s third quarter earnings fell 30%, though that quarter ended in September and the new ad campaign launched only weeks ago.

But the speed issue is perhaps the biggest one for fast food chains. QSR Magazine’s annual drive-thru performance study published this month noted, “The slow-down trend appears to have continued this year.” … with overall speed of service averaging nearly 3 ½ minutes compared to last year’s 3 minutes.

QSR notes the brands surveyed said premium menu items are the biggest source of slowing down service.

This video includes images from Getty Images.