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Rendering of a Taco Bell Defy restaurant coming in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Photo: Taco Bell

Late-night munchies will be a little easier to satisfy for mobile customers at Taco Bell's new touchless drive-thru restaurant coming to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Why it matters: When you're hungry, you want your food NOW.

Flashback: Axios' crack local reporters in Minneapolis-St. Paul already flagged plans for this prototype fast-food joint back in February, pointing out its odd resemblance to a bank branch.

Details: The "Taco Bell Defy" restaurant will open in the summer of 2022.

  • There are four drive-thru lanes, three of which are dedicated to mobile or delivery orders.
  • The fourth lane is a traditional drive-thru, where you place your order at a kiosk and drive ahead for pickup.
  • Mobile order customers scan a QR code they received when they placed their order, then pull forward to receive their food.
  • Food is delivered from the elevated kitchen above via a proprietary lift system similar to the pneumatic tubes used by those bank branches.
  • The entire pickup process is contactless, although two-way audio and video technology lets customers interact directly with Taco Bell employees in real time.

Go deeper

1 in 5 Latino households had to skip meals in 2020, report finds

A volunteer at a food bank in Santa Barbara County, Calif., fills up a car with groceries in April. Photo: Daniel Dreifuss/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One in five Latino households with children in the U.S. had to skip meals during 2020, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

State of play: Latino and Black households were more likely not to have enough to eat during 2020 than they were in 2019, per USDA’s annual Household Food Security report.

2020 was the deadliest year for environmental defenders

Engineer Sandra Cuéllar is one of many Colombians who've gone missing or been killed for their environmental activism. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Latin America and the Caribbean is the deadliest region for environmental defenders, a violent record that has global repercussions.

Why it matters: The region has several of the most biodiverse areas of the planet, but they are constantly threatened by logging, mining or aquifer overexploitation.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate offices closing ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Security fencing outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of a planned "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple congressional offices will be closed Friday amid security precautions ahead of Saturday's rally in support of jailed Jan. 6 rioters, aides who have been instructed to work remotely tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the U.S. Capitol faces its first large-scale security test since the deadly attack, House and Senate offices are taking precautionary measures to protect staff as well as lawmakers.