Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Around the Block

Taco Bell Ditching Drive-Thrus in Cities

Over the next five years, Taco Bell plans to open more than 300 restaurants without drive-thrus or parking, like this one in downtown Cleveland. Photo: Tom Horsman

It's 2017 and you have to take positive news where you can find it.

With that in mind, consider this development: Taco Bell is chasing customers who'll walk to get their fast food fix. The chain is moving away from drive-thrus, reports Devon Walsh at Food & Wine, even though orders from the driver's seat account for most of its sales. Over the next five years, Taco Bell plans to open more than 300 locations without drive-thrus in major cities.

Steve Patterson at Urban Review STL wonders if other fast food chains will follow suit -- and what the effect will be on neighborhood restaurants:

Of course, this could hurt locally-owned Mexican restaurants in areas too urban for a typical Taco Bell. Taco Bell is part of Yum Brands -- KFC & Pizza Hut are corporate cousins -- maybe these will also develop an urban model? Expect other chains to also look to urban areas for growth -- adding new suburban locations is no longer a viable strategy.

Taco Bell recently opened one of these "cantinas" without parking or a drive-thru in downtown Cleveland, right next to the terminus of the Healthline bus rapid transit route. Say what you will about the maker of the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, it's a big change in the way fast food sellers have typically operated in Cleveland, where their locations are almost exclusively in car-oriented suburbs.

More recommended reading today: Writing at Medium, Darin Givens urges Atlanta leaders to address inequality and dangerous traffic conditions simultaneously. And Stop and Move posts an update on the agonizingly slow construction of a not-very-complex Fresno bus rapid transit project.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Got Served

Another day, another GOP lawsuit trying to overturn a Biden administration climate change rule.

April 19, 2024

Disabled People Are Dying in America’s Crosswalks — But We’re Not Counting Them

The data on traffic fatalities and injuries doesn’t account for their needs or even count them. Better data would enable better solutions.

April 19, 2024

LA: Automated Enforcement Coming Soon to a Bus Lane Near You

Metro is already installing on-bus cameras. Soon comes testing, outreach, then warning tickets. Wilshire/5th/6th and La Brea will be the first bus routes in the bus lane enforcement program.

April 18, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Charging Up Transportation

This week, we talk to the great Gabe Klein, executive director of President Biden's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (and a former Streetsblog board member), about curbside electrification.

April 18, 2024

Why Does the Vision Zero Movement Stop At the Edge of the Road?

U.S. car crash deaths are nearly 10 percent higher if you count collisions that happen just outside the right of way. So why don't off-road deaths get more air time among advocates?

April 18, 2024
See all posts