UPDATE: Jan. 6, 2022: Taco Bell now offers its $10 Taco Lover's Pass, which allows customers to redeem one of seven tacos a day for 30 consecutive days at participating locations nationwide, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. Diners can purchase the pass in the Taco Bell app, which will then unlock a secret category on the app menu where they can select their choice of taco and redeem it in the restaurant.
During Taco Bell's trial of the subscription in Tucson, Arizona, last fall, 20% of Taco Lover's Pass purchasers were new to the chain's rewards program. An additional 20% renewed the pass a second time, and the Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme was the most redeemed taco.
- Taco Bell has introduced a Taco Lover's Pass, available through its app through Nov. 24 at select locations in Tucson, Arizona, according to its website. The pass costs $5 to $10 depending on the user’s location, the company said in an email.
- After purchasing a 30-day pass, guests unlock a Taco Lover's Pass category on the app menu and can choose one taco, a crunchy or soft taco, a crunchy or soft taco supreme, Doritos Locos Tacos, Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme or spicy potato soft taco.
- Testing a Taco Lover's Pass comes about a year after the launch of its Taco Bell Rewards Program, which has garnered a 35% increase in overall spending from active loyalty members, parent company Yum Brands' CEO David Gibbs said during the company's Q2 2021 earnings call.
Creating a Taco Lover's Pass could boost loyalty, online purchases and help attract new customers. The pass could help Taco Bell stay one step ahead of other Mexican QSRs, including Del Taco and El Pollo Loco, which launched their own rewards programs and updated apps over the last 18 months. Crunchy and soft tacos are among the most popular items ordered at Taco Bell, which could draw in more customers to the program.
Other limited-service restaurants have only offered monthly subscriptions to coffee or drinks in the past, and those results have been incredibly positive. For example, Panera's $8.99 per month coffee subscription program, which launched in 2020, increased visits by 70% during its pilot phase.
Building a strong digital customer base is an important part of Yum's overall business strategy, especially since its digital sales channel continues to outperform across its four brands. As of Q2 2021, the company had over $20 billion in digital sales on a trailing 12-month basis with $5 billion in digital sales coming from the second quarter, Gibbs said.
A Taco Lover's Pass adds to the company's list of creative marketing promotions, which debuted its first global brand campaign, #ISeeATaco, in May, in which fans could receive a free taco when the moon looked like a taco. That campaign generated over 2 billion impressions, Gibbs said. The company also partnered with Lil Nas X in August to be the company's "chief impact officer" that will allow him to collaborate with the chain for its brand experience.