SINCE 1988

Del Taco Debuts Drive-Thru-Only Design in New Mexico


Del Taco Restaurants Inc. has debuted a drive-thru-only version of its “Fresh Flex” prototype in Albuquerque, N.M., the company announced earlier this week.

The Lake Forest, Calif.-based division of Jack in the Box Inc. opened the 1,200-square-foot restaurant aimed at the off-premises customer. Parent Jack in the Box opened a drive-thru-only version of its restaurant last year in Tulsa, Okla.

“Our Fresh Flex design offers a modern, sleek look that is aligned with our Del Taco ‘Better Mex’ brand promise – better quality, better value” said Tim Linderman, Del Taco’s chief development officer, in a statement. “This design allows us to reduce the overall footprint of the building, which creates more real estate flexibility, and the potential to reduce total buildout costs, which will allow us to further accelerate the growth of our brand.”

In addition to the drive-thru, the Del Taco design features a walk-up window for ordering and pick-up. Also, to increase drive-thru efficiency, it provides pick-up lockers for orders placed via the Del Taco smartphone app and third-party delivery service providers, allowing guests and delivery drivers to skip the line.

“The drive-thru-only Fresh Flex design delivers one of the most convenient QSR experiences anywhere,” said Chad Gretzema, the Del Taco brand president. “With so many pick up options it caters to what today’s tech-savvy and ‘on-the-go’ consumer expects.”

After it opened the 1,350-square-foot Jack in the Box unit in Tulsa last fall, the San Diego, Calif.-based company said the prototype was designed to meet the continued demand for drive-thru service and digital ordering. It featured a double Y-lane drive-thru, a walk-up window for ordering, dual assembly kitchens and a dedicated pick-up window for mobile and third-party delivery orders.

One goal of the new Jack in the Box prototype was to reduce buildout costs by around 20%, while also increasing real estate flexibility, the company said. The new model was designed for free-standing locations, but it could be adapted to fit convenience stores, travel plazas and end-cap locations.

Del Taco this week said the Fresh Flex store designs featured a “Menu of Venues,” ranging from the drive-thru-only model to free standing, end cap and conversion locations.

As of July 9, the end of parent company’s third quarter, Del Taco, founded in 1964, had 594 locations in 15 states. Of those, 221 were company-owned and 373 were franchised units. Jack in the Box completed the purchase of the Del Taco brand in March 2022.

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