Taco Bell Launches In-App Subscription Service ‘Taco Lover’s Pass’

Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - April 17, 2016: A Taco Bell in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

Forget Taco Tuesdays. Taco Bell is betting on Taco Everyday with the launch of its “Taco Lover’s Pass,” a new subscription on its app, which the restaurant chain hopes will help drive sales.

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“Treat yourself to a taco a day for 30 days from the Taco Lover’s Pass menu. Only on the app, at participating locations,” the company said on its website.

The offer, valid until November 24, is available through the Taco Bell app at more than a dozen stores throughout Arizona and includes options such as the Crunchy Taco, Crunchy Taco Supreme, Soft Taco, Soft Taco Supreme, Doritos Locos Tacos, Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme and Spicy Potato Soft Taco, according to the chain’s website.

Prices vary from $5 to $10 depending on the customer’s location, according to QSR Magazine.

CNN reports that Taco Bell hopes the trial turns casual customers into regular customers and increases enrollment in its year-old loyalty program.

“The idea is to lure people in with a free taco and hope they add more to their order and increase the amount they spend at the restaurant. It also gives restaurant owners information about ordering habits that help target diners with customized deals,” according to CNN.

Several other restaurant chains have launched similar subscriptions, including Panera, which launched an $8.99 unlimited coffee or tea monthly subscription.

Sean Keith, director of new business development at SaaS technology company Eagle Eye, told QSR that subscription programs are a new way for restaurants to provide a revenue stream that is independent of on-premise sales, incentivize customers to patronize different dayparts and return to locations in urban areas, universally boost customer perception of value, and leverage engagement for better promotions, marketing and loyalty.

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“By having the infrastructure in place to create digital connections, quick-service brands can understand their customers better and create offers and incentives that deliver that value and keep subscriptions active,” Keith told QSR. “That one-to-one relationship, if managed properly, can shore up revenues through the recovery and well into the new normal.”

In recent months, Taco Bell has been trying to find new ways to adapt to the pandemic, most recently launching what it calls a futuristic, contactless drive-thru restaurant.

Last month, GOBankingRates reported the chain announced its “Taco Bell Defy,” the “frictionless future of Taco Bell” which broke ground in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, last month and is set to open its doors to the public by summer 2022.

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The two-story model has four drive-thru lanes and was designed by Vertical Works. Three of the four lanes are dedicated to mobile or delivery order pickups — a dining habit that has been increasing since the pandemic.

I think as people get more vaccinated, drive-thru ordering will go down some, but I don’t think it will go down to previous levels because this heightened awareness of germs is here to stay and some people are just used to doing things differently now,” Lisa van Kesteren, CEO of SeeLevel HX, which conducts an annual study of drive-thru lane service, told CNBC at the time.

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