Taco Bell to open first digital-only U.S. location in Times Square

Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News
·1 min read

Taco Bell is representing the “sign” of “the times,” literally and figuratively, with its newest tech-forward Cantina outpost.

On Wednesday, the Irvine, Calif.-headquartered fast-food chain will open its first digital-only restaurant in the United States in Times Square.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and customers tech-savvy contactless “order ahead” dining habits, the restaurant’s simplified design is expected to keep employees of the chain from becoming overwhelmed in one of the city’s busiest tourist hotspots.

The premise of the new location — inside the historic Paramount Building (on Broadway and 43rd Street) — is for customers to place a digital order ahead of their visit or use one of the 10 self-order kiosks inside the restaurant.

The kiosks can also be used to buy souvenirs from the fast-casual style Tex-Mex chain.

The location also features a separate entrance for mobile and delivery order pick-up.

The Cantina restaurant format of the Taco Bell chain is smaller and more modern and upscale, featuring open kitchens and alcohol on the menu. The company has already opened more than 20 Cantinas across New York’s five boroughs.

To celebrate the Times Square location, the company is introducing a new menu item, the Bell Apple Freeze. Available exclusively at this location, the Bell Apple Freeze is a Green Apple Freeze swirled with a sweet cherry apple flavor, priced at $3.59.

Last year, Taco Bell opened its first digital-only location in the Wembley section of London.

Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill are among the other restaurant chains that have opened digital-only locations as their online sales market continue to increase.