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If you like Mexican inspired foods then you definitely know who Taco Bell is. This leading quick-service restaurant has been on the market since the 1960’s thanks to the founding father, Glen Bell. What started off as a Drive-In and Taco Tia in San Bernardino has now grown into a fast food chain with 6,500 outlets under its belt. This year, the franchise has announced its rather ambitious plans to take the brand global by 2022. It aims at opening up 2,500 more branches to bring the total to 9,000. This ambitious expansion plan is aimed at achieving $15 billion worth of sales in the next three years.
The franchise is set to focus their expansion efforts in Brazil, and Canada as well as high population countries like China and India. To drive sales to the targeted $15 billion, they are not only targeting new markets but switching up their menus in current markets to give their clients something exciting to look forward to. One of the notable changes is the inclusion of alcoholic drinks on their menus.
The Franchise's CEO, Brian Niccol, attributes the growth of the franchise and its ambitious attitude to the realization by franchisees and customers alike that change is inevitable. To be successful, you need to change with the times and accept that that which was a game changer in the past just might not be applicable today or even in the future. Such a realization has led franchisees to develop a curious nature of doing business always wanting to be in touch with the youth and to learn more about any new ideas.
Over the years, this franchise has attributed a steady rise in sales to their exploration and creativity with their menu items. Sales in the year 2013 recorded a record high of $1.3 million (this is in average unit sales) after they included the Doritos Locos Taco in their menu. In the same year, they launched their “Live más” campaign that also saw them receive better engagement from their existing and new clientele. The numbers have gone even higher with the addition of the Naked egg Taco. This has been estimated to drive the sales by another $0.3 million. In 2016, Taco Bell outcompeted its fellow Yum! Brands franchises. Its GAAP operating margins were 4% higher than those of Pizza Hut and 6% higher than KFCs which had operating margins of 7 and 5 percent respectively.
Another secret to the brand’s success is its ability to stay current and relevant to the different age groups that make up its target market. The franchise has invested heavily in collaborations with artists, fashion lines and sports personalities who depict their brand for the entertaining, and youthful brand that it is. Taco Bell has also won the hearts of many by being more health conscious as opposed to being purely profit driven. The franchise has attracted the attention of the media and has even been dabbed as one of the healthiest American fast food chains.