According to the latest news report by Bloomberg, Taco Bell is looking to grow its presence Down Under in Australia. Taco Bell is a California based chain of Mexican fast food restaurants, which as of 2018, has more than 7000 restaurants spread across more than 24 countries.
Originally founded by Glen Bell way back in 1962, Taco Bell became a subsidiary of PepsiCo in 1978. PepsiCo made its restaurants division an independent company called Tricon Global Restaurants, which later was renamed Yum! Brands. Taco Bell continues to be a subsidiary of Yum! Brands.
The restaurant chain opened its first Taco Bell branch in Australia in November 2017. According to the President of Taco Bell International, Liz Williams, the performance of that restaurant has exceeded the company’s expectations. According to Williams, the restaurant’s sales are millions of dollars higher than the average unit, however, she did not provide numbers.
According to Eater.com, this is not Taco Bell’s first attempt at entering the Australian market. The restaurant chain tried opening its franchise back in the 1980s, and then again in the 1990s. Unfortunately, both attempts were a failure. This time around, however, Mexican food has been gaining in popularity, and Taco Bell has finally found success with its first franchise.
Based on the success of its first restaurant in Brisbane, Australia, the company is now planning to expand massively in the country. Williams, in an interview, stated that the company was already in talks with its Australian franchisee and was looking at “explosive growth” in the market Down Under. She said that Australia was going to be one of their top markets going forward.
The US has become a super saturated market for the restaurant industry. According to data from the research firm NPD Group, restaurant traffic was more or less stagnant from 2016 onwards. Despite that struggles in the US market, Taco Bell still managed to opened a whopping 237 new franchises in the country in 2017.
In a bid to revive its US market, Taco Bell is bringing back the beefy crunch burrito, a cult-favorite menu item. The company had announced that it was going to introduce two $1 additions to its menu. One – the crispy chicken taco will be tested in Oklahoma City and the second, the Beefy Crunch Burrito, would be tested in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is when the fans of Beefy Crunch Burrito broke out in celebration.
The Beefy Crunch Burrito was so popular that fans have been fighting to get it back in the Taco Bell menu since 2011. However, at the moment, this item will only be re-introduced in 30 outlets. If this test is successful, then the company may even make it a permanent menu item from 2019 onwards.
Taco Bell wrote a letter to its fans on the Beefy Crunch Burrito’s Facebook page, stating that bringing back this item was not easy but the restaurant was very close to being able to do so. Taco Bell executives have strongly engaged with their community, even when there have been brickbats thrown their way. The company stated that it loved the way their fans responded to their products.
The testing period for the new menu items will run from April 4 to the middle of July.
While things might be a struggle in the US, other markets are just opening up. Yum! Brands opened 77 new franchises of Taco Bell in the International market last year and plans to open another 90 to 100 this year. Target markets for this expansion include India, Brazil, the UK and China.