Tuesday morning Taco Bell’s Twitter account became @TotallyNotThere, with a black profile picture and protected tweets. @TacoBell now provides a link to the app using the hashtag #OnlyInTheApp.
Around 3:30 a.m., the Facebook page, which has more than 10 million likes, went black along with the website, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The mysterious blackout is an attempt to draw attention, according to USA Today, to a what the company hopes will be a game-changer — a new app that allows customers to order and pay with their smartphones, then walk in and pick up their food.
The app’s first reviews in the Google Play Store were mostly positive, “Mexican-style” food lovers boasted about customizing orders in ways they didn’t know were possible, and being able to skip the line.
The app, which allows you to pick up in the drive-through or in the restaurant, will likely face a tougher test if the millions of customers adopt it as their go-to payment.
Taco Bell isn’t the only chain trying to optimize the dining experience for a country in which 91 percent of the population owns a cell phone.
Outback will be rolling out a new Click Thru Seating reservation system that allows diners to see the wait for a table in real time, and even take a virtual place in line.
The move to mobile is not a new one for the industry — Pizza Hut and Chipotle debuted iPhone ordering apps in 2009. Subway tested its own app earlier this year, and both McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-a are working on a mobile ordering and payment app, the Washington Post reported.