Taco Bell Reinventing the Drive-Thru…. Kind of.

This definitely looks familiar to long-time Barrie residents.

Taco Bell is taking it’s Go Mobile model even further. Two dedicated drive-thru lanes for mobile orders is fine but the company has announced a new concept for its stores that it calls Taco Bell Defy.

Defy models will have four drive-thru lanes, three of them specifically for mobile or delivery orders, to make things really fast. But here’s what sets the new model apart: the restaurant will be above the drive thru lanes and the food will be delivered by a “proprietary lift system”, essentially a smart Dumb Waiter, from the kitchen above to the customer below who scans the QR code for their mobile order.  Fast, efficient and contactless.

If the look of the restaurant seems a little familiar, it’s probably because you have lived in Barrie or traveled the 400 north through Barrie for many years.


Image: Jake39/Waymarkings 2007

Yes, it sounds like a lot like the old drive-thru at the 400NB McDonald’s rest stop between Mapleview Dr. and Essa Rd. It’s been torn down, recently replaced by a fancy new ONroute rest stop. When this drive-thru existed, mobile ordering did not. But, I’m pretty sure the food still came down on a Dumb Waiter.

Taco Bell’s Defy restaurants are expected to open next summer in the US.

Title Image: Taco Bell