For better or worse it's what many Americans consider the Mexican-style alternative
to everyday fast food.
Featuring a variety of "Value Menu"
items, along with their wildly popular menu of tacos, burritos,
and nachos, Taco Bell currently boasts 200 international franchises,
although that number pales in comparison to the more than 5,800 neighborhood
US locations coast to coast.
More astounding numbers tell the story:
Taco Bell goes through 4 billion corn and flour tortillas, 62
million pounds of pinto beans, 295 million pounds of ground beef,
and 106 million pounds of cheese each year. Not bad, especially
for an operation that began humbly (as most American fast food
success stories do) as a local neighborhood hangout.
Taco bell history
was California native Glen Bell (hence the name, Taco Bell), who
opened his first restaurant in San Bernadino as Bell's Drive-In
in 1946. Frustrated with the time it took to prepare a taco, he
later researched ways to transform a Mexican menu into quick American
the rise of the quick serve restaurant craze in the late 50's,
Bell was ready to respond with a Mexican-style version, under
the the first Taco Bell banner opened in Downey, California in
years later, Taco Bell had its first franchise, and quickly added
more throughout the state. With hundreds more dotting the map
nationwide by 1975, Taco Bell was bought out by Pepsico (later
spun off into the Yum! Brands family of restaurants that also
now include KFC
Hut.) as Glen Bell walked away as a major Pepsico shareholder,
and a multi-millionaire.
Pepsico's auspices, Taco Bell enjoyed expansive growth, and two
years later had its first international franchises opening in
Throughout the 80's Taco Bell further expanded with drive-ins
and the enormously popular "Value Menu" and free drink
The following decade saw the rise of Taco Bell's golden age of
advertising, with a popular talking Chihuahua ("Yo Quiero
Taco Bell!") that earned the company top advertising awards
and millions of new fans. That same year, the company launched
Taco Bell continues to innovative to bring the taste of Mexican
food to the masses. Their latest, the Crunchwrap Supreme introduced
at Taco Bell drive-ins in 2005, resulted in one of the company's
most successful product launches ever. Originally introduced as
a limited time offer, it became a permanent part of the menu in
Several years ago, the fast food chain launched a big menu revamp, including the introduction of breakfast ("First Meal"), a new Cantina menu and the national launch of Doritos Locos tacos.
In 2013, another revolutionary change came with the introduction of the Cool Ranch taco shell in partnership with corn chip maker Doritos.