Taco Bell's new website wants to make the company your new favorite trendy startup.
Today, the taco chain is launching a new website and "virtual flagship restaurant," ta.co. The new website will allow for fully customizable online ordering, in a similar style to the chain's app, as well as hosting a publishing channel featuring content created by the brand and collaborators.
"Customers want ease of access and they want that ease of access on their terms," says Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol. "People love to be in control of both their order and how they customize their food experience."
Niccol and Vice President of Digital Tressie Lieberman say that the new website and its creator, the Digital Innovation & On Demand team (formed this spring), are heavily influenced by startups in their approach to business. In addition to relying on startup favorites such as Slack and Google Docs instead of meetings and emails, the team is drawing inspiration from companies such as Uber that focus on mobile and the on demand economy.
"Ease is the new loyalty," says Lieberman.
According to Lieberman, Taco Bell is taking lessons learned from the mobile app and applying them not only to the website, but increasing opportunities for customization and seamless service at in-store locations with options like ordering kiosks, virtual kitchens and a digital communication board. Other things to look forward to from Taco Bell's Digital Innovation & On Demand team include delivery, which is expanding from its test in more than 200 markets this summer, and a gamified loyalty reward program launching in late 2015.