Lyft, Taco Bell Teaming Up to Feed Hungry Late-Night Riders

“Taco Mode” brings relief to riders craving some fourth meal.

byWill Sabel Courtney| PUBLISHED Jul 25, 2017 12:11 PM
Lyft, Taco Bell Teaming Up to Feed Hungry Late-Night Riders

There's always money to be made catering to the drunchies. Case in point: Lyft and Taco Bell have teamed up to help nighttime riders satisfy their (presumably substance-induced) cravings for greasy, salty food. 

"Taco Mode," as it's called, will first be rolled out to Lyft users in California's Orange County between the hours of 9pm and 2am on the weekends of July 27–30 and August 3–6, according to a blog post on the ride-hailing company's website. Following the pilot program in the O.C., the Taco Bell–Lyft joint will expand to other markets around the country, with plans for it to go into operation across America sometime in 2018. 

The cars involved in the California test program will be wrapped up in a taco-themed livery, according to Ad Age, and all the riders will be brought to the same Taco Bell location in Newport Beach. 

To implement Taco Mode, Lyft users will simply need to select it from the different ride options available in the app. Once they do, their driver will bring them to a Taco Bell drive-thru, where they'll receive a free Doritos Locos taco along with their order, just for kicks. 

The joint operation—which presumably will immediately find a strong user base among Orange County residents who regularly smoke joints—is a new way for the fast food chain to reach out to the youths who frequently use ride-hailing services, according to Taco Bell chief marketing officer Marisa Thalberg.

"I kind of think of this like inverse delivery—like we’re delivering you to Taco Bell," Thalberg said in an interview with The New York Times

In contrast to many fast-food chains that have endeavored to present themselves as more premium products in recent years, Taco Bell has long made use of its image as a late-night impulse choice to sell its greasy "Mexican" food, even going so far as to market it as a bonus round of eating called "fourth meal."

As for Lyft, the alliance with Taco Bell gives it a new leg up on its arch-competitor Uber. After all, when drunk millennials are deciding which app to use to call a ride home from the bar on Saturday night, and one of the options lets them pick up Taco Bell along the way...don't you think they're gonna choose that one?