Sunday, August 11, 2013

History of Taco Bell

In 1948, Glen W. Bell Jr operated a one-man hamburger and hot dog stand which he called Bell’s Drive-In at San Bernardino, California. In 1952, he sold the stand in favor of a larger restaurant. 

In 1954 Glen Bell and partner open three Taco Tia outlets in San Bernardino. Soon Bell’s tacos were outselling his hamburgers. When he wanted to expand to Los Angeles his partner refused. Bell sold out his interest in Taco Tia.

With new partners he launched another chain, El Taco. The first outlet opened in 1958 in Long Beach, California. He sold his share in El Taco to his partner in 1962.

Glen Bell was impressed by the original McDonald’s restaurant but rather than compete head-on for the hamburger trade, he applied the new industrial techniques to a separate market segment, the Mexican American taco stand.

In 1962, he opened his first Taco Bell restaurant in Downey, California and he targeted students, travelling salesmen and the military.

The menu consisted mainly of tacos and burritos plus beverages. Two years later, the first Taco Bell franchise was sold.

By 1978 Taco Bell had 868 restaurants which specialized in selling tacos, burritos and a few other food items. In 1978 PepsiCo acquired Taco Bell in a deal value at $148 million. By 1980 Taco Bell had 1333 outlets and was rapidly expanding.

In 1997 Taco Bell was spun off from PepsiCo and is now division of Yum!Brands, Inc, which also owns KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and A&W.

In 2010 Taco Bell opened its first restaurant in the United Kingdom.
History of Taco Bell