Del Taco Debuts Reimagined Store Design with “Fresh Flex” Prototype

by Katie Lee

Lake Forest, Calif. — Del Taco is debuting its highly-anticipated new store prototype: a sleek, bold, contemporary model, “Fresh Flex,” that reconceptualizes the restaurant inside and out. Striking exteriors and distinctive interiors evoke the brand’s contemporized feel. At the same time, the new design expands real estate opportunities to help lower net investment costs, provides ultimate convenience for guests and optimizes operational efficiencies.

“Continuing to adapt and evolve is the lynchpin for Del Taco to remain ahead of the curve in the restaurant industry,” says John Cappasola, CEO of Del Taco. “Our new prototype solidifies our relationships with new and longstanding fans by offering them the most efficient, convenient and enjoyable environment possible. Equally as powerful, ‘Fresh Flex’ propels broader growth opportunities.”

The new store design aims to strengthen key areas that impact guest satisfaction: restaurant accessibility, speed of service and brand transparency. A future-focused model at its foundation, the latest design features innovative additions to facilitate the multiple ways guests now experience Del Taco, including third-party delivery pickup stations, double drive-thru lanes dedicated to mobile orders or delivery driver pickups and dedicated parking lot areas for those who want to park, eat and go.

In collaboration with hospitality design firm MY Studio ID, Del Taco’s reimagined exterior and interior designs better communicate the brand’s commitment to being “Fresh as Del.” The new “Fresh Flex” model exudes curb appeal with its open, well-illuminated building structure, back-lit towers and vibrant color palette. Inside the restaurant, built-in freshness coolers provide a transparent display of the high-quality ingredients that are prepped daily. Additional visibility extends to the brand’s working kitchen format where guests can see “Fresh as Del” come alive — avocados sliced for fresh guacamole, fresh-grated cheddar cheese and fresh chicken and carne asada grilled to perfection.

Del Taco is leveraging this new store design to offer multiple buildout options to maximize growth opportunities through a “Menu of Venues” strategy with building prototypes that vary in size from 1,200 to 2,400 square feet. The various prototypes allow company or franchise developers more flexibility in choosing real estate opportunities, including small footprint drive-thru only models, drive-thru endcaps, conversions and freestanding sites. All buildings feature the fresh, modernized design and provide strategic operational enhancements to improve overall performance.

“We put a major emphasis on optimizing kitchen efficiency. It is the production engine of our brand, so each new restaurant size scales around the kitchen,” adds Chad Gretzema, chief operating officer of Del Taco. “The operational enhancements in the kitchen as well as in the front of the house strengthen our four-wall economics, and align us with our franchise partners’ top priorities while we drive new unit growth.”

As Del Taco continues to accelerate expansion with new and existing franchisees, the design’s consistent operational elements will help facilitate the development process, from the construction phase to crew member training. Beyond new locations, the fresh design will also be applied to current Del Taco restaurants as a remodeling opportunity to drive sales. In both cases, the new store design acts as a strategic growth catalyst to support restaurant economics.

“First and foremost, we needed a design that was going to support our aggressive growth goals,” says Billy Jensen, an operating partner of Jetz Foods, a multi-unit franchise group in the Southeast. “In site selection, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model doesn’t work because every market is different. Del Taco understands that, and they’ve provided solutions to address common issues developers and operators see every day. As we look to the future, we truly have significant growth potential and are well positioned for the myriad of traditional and emerging ways guests want to interact with our brand.”

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. offers a unique variety of both Mexican and American favorites such as burritos and fries, prepared fresh in every restaurant’s working kitchen with the value and convenience of a drive-thru. Founded in 1964, today Del Taco has approximately 600 restaurants across 16 states. For more information, visit




SOURCE: Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.

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