Taco Bell is ditching the drive-thru and going upscale

Taco Bell is ditching drive-thrus to build 300 to 350 concept restaurants that will serve alcohol. 

The company is building hundreds of drive-thru-less restaurants in cities including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York in the next five years, Food & Wine reports

There are currently only seven Taco Bell Cantina locations in the US, though the chain has plans to open four more by the end of 2017.

The locations feature trendy decor, DJs blasting music, and tapas-style appetizers. All serve at least one local beer. The regular Taco Bell menu is also available. 

The move is surprising considering between 55% and 70% of Taco Bell revenue comes from the drive-thru, according to Food & Wine.

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Wild Wing Cafe

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But Taco Bell believes pivoting to a fast-casual format will bring in new customers. 

The company told Business Insider's Kate Taylor that it decided to start serving alcohol after realizing customers were using its beverages as mixers anyway. 

"People would come through on drive-thru and say, 'could you please leave a little off the top,'" Taco Bell COO Mike Grams told Business Insider in July. "And we'd know exactly what they meant."

Kate Taylor contributed reporting to this story. 

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