Plenty of college students head to Taco Bell when they’re inebriated and looking to chow down on some chalupas and burritos to soak up the alcohol.
Believe it or not, if one Chicago-based Taco Bell location has its way, those same college students will be coming in for more than just fast-food…they’ll also be coming in to drink more alcohol.
Alcohol and Fast-Food
A new report confirmed that a Taco Bell establishment is set to open in Wicker Park and they are reportedly applying for a liquor license, which would make them the first Taco Bell in the country to serve alcohol.
A spokesman for the company offered no details, but told Huffington Post they “will have more information available closer to our opening this summer.”
The chain previously tried (and failed) to serve booze-filled milkshakes at its U.S. Taco Co. branch in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Bad for Business?
Alcohol in fast food establishments is unfortunately becoming a new trend. Other Mexican dine-in establishments like Chiptole and Qdoba already serve margaritas, wine and bottles of Mexican beers.
Traditional fast food chains like Sonic and Burger King have experimented with alcohol in their establishments, while Starbucks has announced plans for an “Evenings” menu that includes booze at thousands of its locations across the country.
The move isn’t particularly since surprising since Taco Bell has been experiencing a profit decline for several years. Restaurants have historically relied on alcohol sales for the bulk of their profits and there’s no reason why the same couldn’t be expected here if a liquor license was approved.
Drink and Drive-Thru
But while serving alcohol may be profit-friendly, it’s likely that some communities wouldn’t be happy about it.
In January 2013, A New York City condo board filed a $10 million lawsuit over plans made by Denny’s to open a franchise in the building’s retail space and obtain a liquor license. The legal complaint accused Denny’s of being “a fast food chain synonymous with a late night party atmosphere, as well as drunk, disorderly, violent and criminal conduct.”
Denny’s eventually moved forward after settling the lawsuit and opened up the NYC branch last August. They even offered a $300 breakfast that paired their famous Grand Slams with bottles of Dom Perignon, in addition to selling “house” Bloody Mary’s and Bellinis.
If fast food establishments begin to serve alcohol, we can only hope that they encourage responsible drinking and make it clear that reckless consumption has consequences. The last thing a local community needs is another convenient outlet for booze.
Additional Reading: Should Beauty Salons be Allowed to Serve Alcohol?