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Taco Bell’s COO on its ‘Defy’ drive-thru prototype and the Mexican Pizza

A Deeper Dive: Mike Grams joins the restaurant podcast to discuss how its four-lane drive-thru plays into its development strategy and a wide range of other topics.

This edition of A Deeper Dive is brought to you by Big Ass Fans.
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How was Taco Bell able to get its latest prototype from idea to operating in less than two years?

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast A Deeper Dive features Mike Grams, the chief operating officer for the Mexican fast-food chain, to talk about a variety of topics, from franchising to the reaction to its Mexican Pizza.

That includes its fancy new Defy prototype, the one that features four drive-thru lanes, three of them for mobile orders. The prototype was opened this summer less than two years after the local franchisee brought the idea to Taco Bell.

Grams talks about that story, which is interesting and helps explain the chain’s success. Taco Bell franchisees have generally been with the brand for a long time and the value of their restaurants is at record levels, in part because of the company’s willingness to let them lead the way on some of its new store ideas.

Mike also talks about labor issues and how these new stores fit into that. He also talks about the Mexican Pizza, why that was taken off the menu and why the company had to pull it back. He discusses supply chain issues, food costs and other topics.

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