- Taco Bell Facebook
When Taco Bell announced a service that allows Lyft users to push a button to have their driver take them to a Taco Bell drive-thru, most taco lovers’ reaction was to celebrate.
However, many Lyft drivers – who found out about the new service at the same time as the rest of the world – had a different response.
Drivers immediately called Lyft out on Twitter, questioning why drivers would want to take the time of going through a Taco Bell drive-thru without additional compensation. Typically, Lyft drivers are paid by the mile – meaning they aren’t likely to earn any extra cash when their cars stop at the drive-thru.
And that’s not even getting into the mess that a car full of Doritos Locos tacos could create.
Hell no! I don't want people eating messy tacos in my car!
— Kaitlyn (@OakAthleticsGrl) July 25, 2017
they will fight you to get a cleaning fee.My car my rules,no eating,drinking,drive thru or smoking,period.A to B.and get out
— Big Poppa (@lifeofhustler) July 25, 2017
“That Lyft might go ahead and do this – encourage riders to do something most drivers dislike doing – without offering drivers an incentive or otherwise communicating to us what the plan is is pretty bold,” one Lyft driver told Business Insider.
“This is Uber-type behavior, and I don’t think even Uber does stuff like this anymore,” he continued. “I wonder if it occurs to Taco Bell that drivers don’t like going through the drive-thru.”
How dare you invite people to eat in MY car without asking ME??? Taco's are the messiest food ever and YOU want MY car clean.
— Kim (@Kim02125) July 25, 2017
What incentive do drivers get for sitting for 15 minutes getting paid pennies per min at a drive thru so that riders can get their "taco on"
— Chris Mathews (@cdm813) July 25, 2017
The same driver also emailed Business Insider a snarky, satiric corporate statement:
“A representative for the Los Angeles-based Southern California Rideshare Drivers Association said, ‘Although drivers make very little money sitting in the drive through line, and many feel that Lyft and Taco Bell are encouraging riders to take advantage of the awkward situation this puts drivers in, the upside is this provides a great new revenue stream source for the drivers in the form of cleaning fees.'”
Lyft clarified on Twitter that drivers’ participation in “Taco Mode,” test-launching on Thursday, was optional.
— Ask Lyft (@AskLyft) July 25, 2017
The company, which did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, also said it planned to “gather and evaluate feedback from both drivers and passengers and use this to inform Taco Mode moving forward.”
“Only drivers who opt-in to Taco Mode will participate in the ‘ride-thru’ experience,” a Taco Bell spokesperson said in a statement. “Throughout the test we’ll be collecting feedback from participating drivers, passengers and Taco Bell restaurant team members to ensure Taco Mode continues to evolve as we roll out to additional markets. “
Taco Bell will test Taco Mode in Orange County, California, from Thursday to Saturday and August 3 to 5, with plans to expand the service across the US in 2018. In addition to providing passengers the ability to order drive-thru Taco Bell, Taco Mode also includes a custom in-car menu, free Doritos Locos tacos, and what the company calls a “taco-themed car.”
“We realized that for every person who has asked their Lyft driver to make a pit stop at Taco Bell – and we’ve seen many – there are likely those who weren’t sure if this was possible,” Taco Bell CMO Marisa Thalberg said in a statement. “With the advent of this fantastic partnership with Lyft, we will erase any lingering uncertainty and celebrate the ability to ‘ride-thru’ in Taco Mode.”