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Taco Cabana Photo courtesy of Taco Cabana
Taco Cabana has debuted its new next-generation prototype, called TC 3.0.

Taco Cabana introduces a smaller restaurant prototype

The fast-casual chain’s new restaurant design includes a single makeline to make the kitchen more efficient.

Taco Cabana is opening a new location in Spring, Texas, this week that debuts the brand’s new next-generation prototype, called TC 3.0. New locations will feature the updated design, which includes double merging drive-thru lanes, a walk-up window, and a dining area that pays homage to the company’s heritage in a contemporary way, translated through a unique wall mural, updated furniture and modernized lighting. In addition to the merging drive-thru lanes, Taco Cabana has also added digital menu boards at the drive-thru. According to a company spokesperson, this will allow the company to react to menu changes in a more agile way.

“The digital menu boards will both move guests quicker through the drive-thru and provide an opportunity to enhance our communication of current and new offerings,” the spokesperson added.

Taco Cabana is also adding contactless payment solutions to speed up transactions and is bringing its off-premises orders into its point-of-sale and kitchen video systems. This, according to the company, further streamlines operations and improves the employee experience. Additionally, the kitchen layout has been reengineered to achieve more efficiencies, including the implementation of a single makeline to service both the drive-thru and the front counter. According to a company spokesperson, this change both conserves space and optimizes labor for the restaurant.

The Spring restaurant is 2,541 square feet including a 375-foot patio. This is compared to the company’s previous prototypes, which were well over 3,500 square feet.

“We’ve made these changes because we recognize that consumer preferences have changed over time and the new prototype will help us stay competitive while at the same time allowing us to maintain our brand identity,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson adds that the new prototype is also expected to appeal to new customers and make a more compelling offering to potential franchisees as part of its growth strategy.

Taco Cabana became a part of YTC Enterprises in an $85 million deal from Fiesta Restaurant Group in 2021. According to Technomic Ignite data, the company finished 2023 with 143 restaurants and about $266 million in sales.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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