A Discussion with the Creators: First-of-its-kind ‘Taco Bell Defy’ Breaks Ground in Brooklyn Park, Won’t Have Inside Dining
Right now there’s a field full of possibility in northern Brooklyn Park, where you will actually see an idea come to life.
“It really is a homegrown, local idea,” said Aaron Engler, president of Border Foods. “We really believe it’s going to be the future of quick-serve. It’s a totally new concept. It’s new to the industry and new to Brooklyn Park. We’re just super excited about it.”
Engler says this idea capitalizes on a trend.
“Here’s the thing, if you look at a mix of drive-thru and dining before, it was already skewed toward the drive-thru in our industry,” said Engler. “What happened with the pandemic is it skewed even further toward drive-thru and just getting in and getting what you want quickly.”
A few local companies got together to figure out how to make the drive-thru process work better.
“Then we went and pitched it to Taco Bell, they loved it and here we are,” said Engler.
Engler was part of a group that gathered for a groundbreaking on Monday.
How will it all work?
He explains that the kitchen sits on the second level and contains four smaller kitchens that deliver food to a different lane beneath. Some lanes will be for pre-ordered food through smart phone apps and one lane will be for a normal drive-up and order.
The process is supposed to take the speed of service and cut it in half.
“Our charge was taking the kernel of the idea and making it build-able,” said Eric Reiners, an architect with Sperides Reiners Architects, Inc. “There’s no inside dining. There is a pedestrian or customer entrance that’s like a vestibule where you can walk in, place an order, wait for it and leave. There’s no dining inside or even on-site on a patio or anything.”
There could be a learning curve when the facility opens late next summer, but Reiners says people have already mastering online ordering.
“All this has been put in motion with online ordering and apps that facilitate that for online ordering in everything from food to groceries,” said Reiners.
Engler agrees, and says the mobile option will create a better experience.
“This is just taking what’s been happening and monopolizing upon it. Making it even better, for the customer and better for employees,” said Engler. “It’s the way we see the industry going.”