Speaking of the Chicken Chipotle Melt, it’s one of the national adds coming November 5, starting at $1. A permanent fixture to Taco Bell’s Cravings Value Menu, the product features marinated all-white meat grilled chicken, creamy chipotle sauce, and Cheddar cheese rolled and melted together.
The other nationwide product will be a Dragonfruit Freeze. It’s a tropical frozen beverage swirled with a burst of dragonfruit flavor, Taco Bell said. And it’s showing up a bit sooner—September 24, complete with a flat lid (same with all Taco Bell freezes) to deliver on contactless service.
Taco Bell also crafted a new and improved Green Sauce recipe, it said, which includes flavors of fire roasted green chilies, pureed jalapeno, and hatch green chilies. This will unroll via regional launch in select markets starting November 5.
Lastly, Taco Bell plans to test a previous fan-favorite—the Quesalupa—in Knoxville starting September 24. It’s expected to expand nationwide sometime next year. The Quesalupa is a classic chalupa shell stuffed with a cheese blend of pepper jack and Mozzarella.
Taco Bell said the changes are the final phase of its 2020 menu revamp. It noted some items removed from menuboards can still be ordered: The Quesarito (available digitally via Taco Bell’s mobile app); and the 7-Layer-Burrito (also a digital-exclusive option).
Taco Bell first announced in July that it would remove 12 items August 13 in an effort to simplify operations and boost efficiency amid a COVID-19 landscape. It said the evolved menu approached stemmed from “months of analyzing the new way we are running our restaurants.”
“With safety top of mind, we want to ensure an easy and fast ordering experience of our guests and team members,” Taco Bell said.
To the speed point, CEO David Gibbs said the brand boosted drive-thru speed of service 18 seconds in Q2, year-over-year, and served an additional 4.8 million cars. Fiscal year to date, it was up 15 seconds.
The brand said the changes will leave room for new fan favorites, continued progress in categories such as plant-based diets, and opportunities to bring back classics as LTOs.
In August, the chain also unveiled a new concept called “Taco Bell Go Mobile,” designed for customers ordering ahead through Taco Bell’s mobile app. It features a dual drive thru and smaller footprint, as well as curbside pickup and “bellhops, which are concierge service of employees that take orders via tablet outside the restaurant.