Taco Bell Focuses on AI Personalization with App Update

The new and improved app provides menu recommendations, specialized prices, and more, all specific to the user.

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Need to Know

  • Taco Bell is enhancing AI personalization efforts in partnership with Certona.
  • The fast-food joint’s app will be improved with personalized menu recommendations for its users, driving customers to feel closer to the QSR.
  • This improvement is the next step in Taco Bell’s continued rollout of new tech.

Analysis

In an effort to enhance its mobile ordering experience, Taco Bell is adding AI to its app to allow for a more personalized customer experience. 

Taco Bell’s current app allows users to order a meal and schedule a pick-up time, track an order, and browse locations. 

But the Mexican-inspired fast-food giant is partnering with Certona, a Kibo company and global leader in omnichannel personalization, to enhance its existing app with customized preferences.

Taco Bell plans to utilize advanced AI to personalize menu recommendations and offers for its users, as well as provide different menu items and pricing depending on the user’s location. The idea is to tempt users with new menu items or offer them tried and true favorites in an effort to reduce the amount of time they spend scrolling through the app.

The use of an app allows customers to engage with the brand at any time, rather than just at the menu in-store or in a drive-thru. By providing additional customer touchpoints through the app, Taco Bell can optimize the technology to pull more data and create even more effective customization. 

“Of course, we know each of our fans has their favorites and their own preferences. As a forward-looking company, we’re using the latest machine learning and AI technology to better deliver on those individual preferences,” explains Derrick Chan, director of e-commerce at Taco Bell. 

Personalization can help increase sales and nurture greater customer loyalty, and it sounds like it’s something customers want. A recent report revealed that 79% of diners want personalized menu recommendations. 

Improved AI is just the next phase in Taco Bell’s tech strategy. Last fall, the brand introduced self-order kiosks in-store to allow customers to be served faster and with fewer errors. Customers appreciated the opportunity to take their time to peruse the menu and customize their meal, rather than feeling rushed by ordering at the counter.  

“When the power of customizing the entire menu is laid out for the consumer, the sky is the limit,” said Rishi Gupta, Taco Bell’s director of technology.  

Taco Bell is not the first fast-food juggernaut to introduce personalization AI. Both McDonald’s and Sonic have enhanced their drive-thru menu boards with personalization. 

With its partnership with Certona, it’s clear that technology innovation is at the forefront of Taco Bell’s ongoing strategy.

“Certona’s advanced capabilities in personalization, data science and omnichannel experiences enables Taco Bell to create continuously compelling 1:1 interaction with its fans,” explains Meyar Sheik, President and Chief Commerce Officer at Kibo.

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