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Taco Bell and Lyft Partnership Shows the Future of Munchies is Bright

Photo by Getty Images

Hungry stoners, unite: Taco Bell and Lyft have partnered to make sure you have your fill of cheap tacos on the way home from your next sesh.

In select locations around Newport Beach, California (and, we expect, nationally next year), Lyft users are seeing a new option called “Taco Mode” between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., which adds a stop at Taco Bell to their Lyft ride.

It’s the answer to a question many of us are scared to ask: how appropriate is it to ask my cab/Uber/Lyft/whatever ride app you use driver to stop at a drive-through on the way home? Cabs are one thing—the time is just added to the total—but ride-sharing services are typically designed to deliver people as fast as possible, meaning stops throw off the system. Designing the stop into the overall ride, though, is a good way to get around that.

“It’s pretty obvious there’s a lot of food delivery out there and lots of apps and services that allow you to take food to people,” said Melissa Waters, Lyft’s head of marketing, in an interview with the New York Times. “This is really turning this concept on its head of just delivering food to delivering you to food and extending the night.”

Although the program is not inherently targeted at stoners, it would be hard to say that Taco Bell doesn’t know about its pedigree: in a Reddit AMA, the president of Taco Bell made weed jokes (“How much have your sales increased in Colorado since the legalization of marijuana?” one user asked. “420%,” he responded.), and one of the top comments is a moderator of r/trees, the marijuana subreddit, telling him how much the users love their food (“I’m glad you love our food. What’s 4/20?” he quipped back).

If this is successful, we might see similar ventures in the future with other fast food restaurants, though we wonder where they will draw the line for eating in the cars. (I’d love a driver to take me through Popeyes at almost any time of day, but there’s no way I’m making it home before I start digging in!) Also unknown is how much the premium for getting taken through Taco Bell is, or if drivers will start accepting food as payment or tips.

At the end of the day, “Taco Mode” is a method of advertising that we are essentially paying for. But when it makes fulfilling the munchies so much easier, is that really a bad thing?

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