Flexible, Scalable Model Designed for the Future Expands Real Estate Opportunities, Modernizes Guest Experience and Enhances Operational Efficiencies
Del Taco, the iconic Mexican-American concept, is debuting its highly-anticipated new store prototype — a sleek, contemporary model that brings the brand to life through a collection of enhancements advancing its leading position in the QSR-plus category.
The bold, new Del Taco “Fresh Flex” prototype reconceptualizes the restaurant inside and out. Striking exteriors and distinctive interiors evoke the brand’s contemporized feel. At the same time, the new design expands real estate opportunities to help lower net investment costs, provides ultimate convenience for guests and optimizes operational efficiencies.
“Continuing to adapt and evolve is the lynchpin for Del Taco to remain ahead of the curve in the restaurant industry,” said Del Taco CEO John Cappasola. “Our new prototype solidifies our relationships with new and longstanding fans by offering them the most efficient, convenient and enjoyable environment possible. Equally as powerful, ‘Fresh Flex’ propels broader growth opportunities.”
Checking all the boxes for today’s consumer, the new store design aims to strengthen key areas that impact guest satisfaction: restaurant accessibility, speed of service and brand transparency. A future-focused model at its foundation, the latest design features innovative additions to facilitate the multiple ways guests now experience Del Taco, including third-party delivery pick-up stations, double drive-thru lanes dedicated to mobile orders or delivery driver pickups and dedicated parking lot areas for those who want to park, eat and go.
In collaboration with hospitality design firm MY Studio ID, Del Taco’s reimagined exterior and interior designs better communicate the brand’s commitment to being “Fresh as Del.” The new “Fresh Flex” model exudes curb appeal with its open, well-illuminated building structure, back-lit towers and vibrant color palette. Inside the restaurant, built-in freshness coolers provide a transparent display of the high-quality ingredients that are prepped daily. Additional visibility extends to the brand’s working kitchen format where guests can see “Fresh as Del” come alive— avocados sliced for fresh guacamole, fresh-grated cheddar cheese and fresh chicken and carne asada grilled to perfection.
Del Taco is leveraging this new store design to offer multiple buildout options to maximize growth opportunities through a “Menu of Venues” strategy with building prototypes that vary in size from 1,200 to 2,400 square feet. The various prototypes allow company or franchise developers more flexibility in choosing real estate opportunities, including small footprint drive-thru only models, drive-thru endcaps, conversions and freestanding sites. All buildings feature the fresh, modernized design and provide strategic operational enhancements to improve overall performance.
“We put a major emphasis on optimizing kitchen efficiency. It is the production engine of our brand, so each new restaurant size scales around the kitchen,” added Del Taco Chief Operating Officer Chad Gretzema. “The operational enhancements in the kitchen as well as in the front of the house strengthen our four-wall economics, and align us with our franchise partners’ top priorities while we drive new unit growth.”
As Del Taco continues to accelerate expansion with new and existing franchisees, the design’s consistent operational elements will help facilitate the development process, from the construction phase to crew member training. Beyond new locations, the fresh design will also be applied to current Del Taco restaurants as a remodeling opportunity to drive sales. In both cases, the new store design acts as a strategic growth catalyst to support restaurant economics.
“First and foremost, we needed a design that was going to support our aggressive growth goals,” said Billy Jensen, an operating partner of Jetz Foods, a multi-unit franchise group in the Southeast. “In site selection, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model doesn’t work because every market is different. Del Taco understands that, and they’ve provided solutions to address common issues developers and operators see every day. As we look to the future, we truly have significant growth potential and are well positioned for the myriad of traditional and emerging ways guests want to interact with our brand.”
Del Taco’s unique QSR-plus positioning within the Mexican-American segment presents great growth potential for experienced multi-unit operators looking to diversify their portfolios. With development areas open across the United States, Del Taco continues to seek experienced individuals and groups who are looking for the opportunity to claim a territory and grow alongside the company. To learn more and to inquire about available franchise opportunities, visit the “Fresh Flex” design web page.