Taco Bell
Overview
 
Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants based in Irvine, California
Irvine, California
Irvine is a suburban incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the city has a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census. However, the California...

. A subsidiary
Subsidiary
A subsidiary company, subsidiary, or daughter company is a company that is completely or partly owned and wholly controlled by another company that owns more than half of the subsidiary's stock. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a...

 of Yum! Brands, Inc., which serves American-adapted Mexican food. Taco Bell serves tacos, burrito
Burrito
A burrito , or taco de harina, is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In Mexico, refried beans or meat are sometimes the only fillings...

s, quesadillas, nachos
Nachos
Nachos are a popular food based on nixtamalized corn, of Mexican origin associated with Tex-Mex cuisine that can be either made quickly to serve as a snack or prepared with more ingredients to make a full meal. In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips or totopos covered in melted cheese...

, other specialty items, and a variety of "Value Menu
Value menu
A value menu is a group of menu items at a fast food restaurant that are designed to be the least expensive items available. In the US, the items are usually priced between $0.99 and $1.49. They are offered together at a lower price than they would cost individually. Value meals are a common...

" items. Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion consumers each year in more than 5,800 restaurants in the U.S., more than 80 percent of which are owned and operated by independent franchisees.
Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell
Glen Bell
Glen William Bell, Jr. was an American businessman who founded the fast food chain Taco Bell.Born in Lynwood, California and growing up in California, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Bell left the military in 1946 and started his first hot dog stand, called Bell's Drive-In,...

  who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino is a city located in the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area , and serves as the county seat of San Bernardino County, California, United States...

 in 1946 when he was 23 years old.
Encyclopedia
Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants based in Irvine, California
Irvine, California
Irvine is a suburban incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the city has a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census. However, the California...

. A subsidiary
Subsidiary
A subsidiary company, subsidiary, or daughter company is a company that is completely or partly owned and wholly controlled by another company that owns more than half of the subsidiary's stock. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a...

 of Yum! Brands, Inc., which serves American-adapted Mexican food. Taco Bell serves tacos, burrito
Burrito
A burrito , or taco de harina, is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In Mexico, refried beans or meat are sometimes the only fillings...

s, quesadillas, nachos
Nachos
Nachos are a popular food based on nixtamalized corn, of Mexican origin associated with Tex-Mex cuisine that can be either made quickly to serve as a snack or prepared with more ingredients to make a full meal. In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips or totopos covered in melted cheese...

, other specialty items, and a variety of "Value Menu
Value menu
A value menu is a group of menu items at a fast food restaurant that are designed to be the least expensive items available. In the US, the items are usually priced between $0.99 and $1.49. They are offered together at a lower price than they would cost individually. Value meals are a common...

" items. Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion consumers each year in more than 5,800 restaurants in the U.S., more than 80 percent of which are owned and operated by independent franchisees.

Founding and growth

Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell
Glen Bell
Glen William Bell, Jr. was an American businessman who founded the fast food chain Taco Bell.Born in Lynwood, California and growing up in California, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Bell left the military in 1946 and started his first hot dog stand, called Bell's Drive-In,...

  who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino is a city located in the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area , and serves as the county seat of San Bernardino County, California, United States...

 in 1946 when he was 23 years old. Six years later, he sold the stand and opened a new one two years later, this time selling tacos under the name of Taco-Tia. Over the next few years Bell owned and operated a number of restaurants in southern California including four called El Taco. Bell sold the El Tacos to his partner and built the first Taco Bell in Downey
Downey, California
Downey is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is best known as the birthplace of the Apollo space program, and is the city where folk singer Karen Carpenter lived and died...

 in 1962. In 1962, he sold Taco-Tia. Kermit Becky, a former Los Angeles police officer, bought the first Taco Bell franchise from Glen Bell in 1964 (with a little encouragement from another L.A. police officer Joseph Charles Zeller), and located it in Torrance
Torrance, California
Torrance is a city incorporated in 1921 and located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Torrance has of shore-front beaches on the Pacific Ocean, quieter and less well-known by tourists than others on the Santa Monica Bay, such as those of neighboring...

. The company grew rapidly, and by 1967, the 100th restaurant opened at 400 South Brookhurst in Anaheim
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

. In 1970, Taco Bell went public with 325 restaurants. In 1978, PepsiCo
PepsiCo
PepsiCo Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York, United States, with interests in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company...

 purchased Taco Bell from Glen Bell.

Taco Bell Express

In 1991, Taco Bell opened the first Taco Bell Express in San Francisco. This concept is a reduced-size restaurant with a limited menu (primarily items priced under $1), meant to emphasize volume. Taco Bell Express locations operate primarily inside convenience stores, truck stops, shopping malls, and airports.

Dispute with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

In March 2005, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a non-profit organization in Immokalee, Florida whose members are "largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state."Founded in 1993, the group has seen major success on several fronts...

 won a landmark victory in its national boycott of Taco Bell for human rights. Taco Bell agreed to meet all of the coalition's demands to improve wages and working conditions for Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 tomato pickers in its supply chain.

After four years of a tenacious and growing boycott, Taco Bell and Yum! Brands agreed to make an agreement called the CIW-Yum agreement with representatives of CIW at Yum! Brands headquarters. The CIW-Yum agreement set several precedents, establishing:
  • The first direct, ongoing payment by a fast-food industry leader to farm workers in its supply chain to address substandard farm-labor wages (nearly doubling the percentage of the final retail price that goes to the workers who pick the produce).
  • The first enforceable Code of Conduct
    Code of Conduct
    A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual, party or organization. Related concepts include ethical codes and honor codes....

     for agricultural suppliers in the fast-food industry (which includes the CIW, a worker-based organization, as part of the investigative body for monitoring worker complaints).
  • Market incentives for agricultural suppliers willing to respect their workers’ human rights
    Human rights
    Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

    , even when those rights are not guaranteed by law;
  • Full transparency for Taco Bell’s tomato purchases in Florida; the agreement commits Taco Bell to buy only from Florida growers who agree to the pass-through and to document and monitor the pass-through, providing complete records of Taco Bell’s Florida tomato purchases and growers’ wage records to the CIW.

Menu

Border Bell

In 1997, PepsiCo experimented with a new "fresh grill" concept, opening at least one Border Bell restaurant in Mountain View, California
Mountain View, California
-Downtown:Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown centered on Castro Street. The downtown area consists of the seven blocks of Castro Street from the Downtown Mountain View Station transit center in the north to the intersection with El Camino Real in the south...

 on El Camino Real (SR 82
California State Route 82
State Route 82 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that runs from U.S. Route 101 at Blossom Hill Road in San Jose to Interstate 280 in San Francisco following the San Francisco Peninsula...

). In addition to a subset of the regular Taco Bell menu, Border Bell offered Mexican-inspired items like those available from Chevys Fresh Mex
Chevys Fresh Mex
Chevys Fresh Mex is a chain of Mexican-style casual dining restaurants located in the United States. The chain was founded in 1981 by Warren Simmon, Sr. and Warren "Scooter" Simmon, Jr. in Alameda, California. The chain's headquarters are currently located in Cypress, California. The chain is owned...

 restaurants (then owned by PepsiCo), such as Chevys signature sweet corn tamalito
Tamalito
Tamalito is a typical dish of the Amazonas Region in Peru. Its appearance is similar to the tamale from the coast, but they are drier and smaller. It scarcely reaches 7 cm. -Preparation:Tamalitos are prepared in a similar manner to tamales....

 pudding and a fresh salsa bar.

Reduction of trans fats

, Taco Bell had switched to zero trans fat
Trans fat
Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid. Because the term refers to the configuration of a double carbon-carbon bond, trans fats are sometimes monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, but never saturated....

 frying oil in all of its US single-branded locations.

Volcano Taco and Volcano Double Beef Burrito

Taco Bell revealed in June 2009 that it will be adding to its main menu the Volcano Double Beef Burrito and the Volcano Taco, a former limited-time item.

Cupcakes and smoothies

It was reported in October 2009 that the chain has been testing smoothies, mini-snacks, and other items. A juice bar has been installed in some restaurants along with a display containing cupcakes and other snacks.

Advertising

In March 2001, Taco Bell announced a promotion to coincide with the re-entry of the Mir space station. They towed a large target out into the Pacific Ocean, announcing that if the target was hit by a falling piece of Mir, every person in the United States would be entitled to a free Taco Bell taco. The company bought a sizable insurance policy for this gamble. No piece of the station struck the target.

In 2004, a local Taco Bell franchisee bought the naming rights
Naming rights
In the private sector, naming rights are a financial transaction whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility, typically for a defined period of time. For properties like a multi-purpose arena, performing arts venue or an athletic field, the term ranges from three...

 to the Boise State
Boise State University
Boise State University is a public university located in Boise, Idaho. Originally founded in 1932 as a junior college by the Episcopal Church, the university became an independent institution in 1934, and has been awarding baccalaureate and master degrees since 1965...

 Pavilion in Boise, Idaho
Boise, Idaho
Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.As of the 2010 Census Bureau,...

 and renamed the stadium Taco Bell Arena
Taco Bell Arena
The Taco Bell Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena, on the campus of Boise State University, in Boise, Idaho. The arena is located on the east end of campus, between West Campus Lane & Cesar Chavez Circle, immediately northwest of Bronco Stadium....

.

In 2007, Taco Bell offered the "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion—if any player from either team stole a base in the 2007 World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 the company would give away free tacos to everyone in the United States in a campaign similar to the Mir promotion, albeit with a much higher likelihood of being realized. After Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby McCabe Ellsbury ; born September 11, 1983) is an American professional baseball center fielder with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball....

 of the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 stole a base in Game 2, the company paid out this promotion on October 30, 2007. This promotion was used again in the 2008 World Series, when Jason Bartlett of the Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

 stole a base during Game 1 at Tropicana Field
Tropicana Field
Tropicana Field is a domed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida, which has been the home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays since the team's inaugural season in 1998, when they were the Devil Rays. It has also served as the host stadium for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, an NCAA-sanctioned college...

, which was paid out on October 28, 2008.

Taco Bell sponsors a promotion at home games for both the Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

 and the Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They began playing in the National Basketball Association in 1970 as an expansion team...

 in which everyone in attendance receives a coupon for a free Chalupa if the home team scores 100 points or more.

In 2009, Taco Bell introduced a music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

 style commercial entitled, "It's all about the Roosevelts" composed and produced by Danny de Matos at his studio for Amber Music on behalf of DraftFCB Agency. Featuring Varsity Fanclub
Varsity Fanclub
Varsity Fanclub is a boy band from Los Angeles, California. Varsity Fanclub currently consists of David Lei Brandt, Drew Ryan Scott, Jayk Purdy, and T.C. Carter....

's Bobby Edner
Bobby Edner
Robert Charles Edner is an American actor, singer, dancer, and rapper. He was a member of the boy band Varsity Fanclub.- Biography :Edner's first credit was in 1997, as "Chip" in a straight-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen release...

, the rap music style commercial shows a group of friends gathering change as they drive toward Taco Bell. The commercial represents Taco Bell's first foray into movie theater advertising, featuring the ad during the opening previews of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 American science fiction-action film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to the 2007 film Transformers and the second installment in the live-action Transformers series...

 and Public Enemies as well as screens in some movie theater lobbies.

On July 1, 2009, Taco Bell has replaced 20-year sponsor McDonald's
McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

 as the fast food partner of the NBA. Taco Bell and the NBA agreed on a 4 year deal allowing them to advertise on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, TNT
Turner Network Television
Turner Network Television is an American cable television channel created by media mogul Ted Turner and currently owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner...

 and ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

, and NBA-themed promotions.
Infomercial salesman Billy Mays
Billy Mays
William Darrell "Billy" Mays, Jr. was an American television direct-response advertisement salesperson most notable for promoting OxiClean, Orange Glo, and other cleaning, home-based, and maintenance products on the Home Shopping Network, and through his company, Mays Promotions, Inc...

 signed a deal in June 2009 to shoot infomercial-style commercials for the chain, with filming to begin in August. His unexpected death from a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 on June 28, 2009 canceled those plans.

On July 21, 2009, Gidget
Taco Bell chihuahua
Gidget "The Taco Bell chihuahua" Chipperton was a popular advertising figure and mascot, voiced by Carlos Alazraqui, and developed by TBWA and used by Taco Bell, a division of Louisville, Kentucky -based Yum! Brands. The Chihuahua is a breed commonly associated with Mexico, as are the tacos the...

, the Chihuahua
Chihuahua (dog)
The ' is the smallest breed of dog and is so named for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of sizes, head shapes, colors and coat lengths.-History:...

 featured in Taco Bell ads in the late 1990s, was euthanized
Animal euthanasia
Animal euthanasia is the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, an animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress...

 after suffering a stroke. She was 15 years old.

2009 commercials for the "Frutista Freeze" frozen drink feature Snowball
Snowball (Cockatoo)
Snowball is a male Eleonora Cockatoo, noted as being the first non-human animal conclusively demonstrated to be capable of beat induction — perceiving music and synchronizing his body movements to the beat .-Background:...

, an Eleonora Cockatoo
Eleonora Cockatoo
The Eleonora Cockatoo, Cacatua galerita eleonora, also known as Medium Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, is similar in appearance to other subspecies of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. It is found in the Aru and Kai Islands of Indonesia, where it was introduced and is common in aviculture.It is the smallest...

 noted for his ability to dance to human music.

In an effort to promote their $2 Meal Deals, Taco Bell started a Facebook group in June 2010 to collect signatures on a petition that appeals to the Federal Reserve
Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve System is the central banking system of the United States. It was created on December 23, 1913 with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, largely in response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907...

 to produce more two-dollar bills
United States two-dollar bill
The United States two-dollar bill is a current denomination of US currency. President Thomas Jefferson is featured on the obverse of the note...

.

A large advertising push by Taco Bell was begun in late February 2011 in response to a consumer protection lawsuit filed against the company by an Alabama law firm. The promotion sought to counter allegations that the company falsely advertised the ratio of ingredients of its beef filling for its tacos. The spots featured employees and franchisees stating that the filling has always been a mixture of 88% beef and various spices and binders and nothing else. The ad followed several full page print ads in the New York Times and other newspapers that featured the headline "Thank you for suing us." Additionally, the chain added a new social campaign using Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 and Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

. The company invested heavily in the campaign, spending more than $3 million (USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

) putting out its message - about 20 percent more than the company usually spends on an advertising program. The various campaigns came shortly before the company began its official response to the suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
The United States District Court for the Central District of California serves over 18 million people in southern and central California, making it the largest federal judicial district by population...

 and were designed to bring public opinion into their camp. Various analysts stated that the company would have been better off using a grass-root campaign that involved in store advertising and other non-broadcast media. The suit was eventually withdrawn, and the company continued its advertising response by publicly requesting an apology from the suing firm of Beasly Allen. Analyst Laura Ries, of marketing strategy firm Ries & Ries, stated she believed Taco Bell's latest response was a mistake. She went on to comment that reviving memories of a suit that the majority of the public had forgotten after the initial burst of publicity, commenting "when you run these ads defending, defending, defending, sometimes people think, 'Well, wait a minute, why are they trying so hard to defend themselves?'".

Australia

Taco Bell first opened in Australia in September 1981, but Taco Bell was ordered to change its name after the owner of a local restaurant successfully sued Taco Bell for misleading conduct. The local restaurant was called "Taco Bell's Casa" and had been operating in Australia since the 1970s. The owner successfully argued that Sydneysiders would confuse the takeaway chain with his restaurant, and this would damage his reputation.
Taco Bell later opened in 1997 in Australia with a store in the cinema district on George St in Sydney and a year later in 1998 within a few KFC stores in the state of New South Wales, but by 2005, the Taco Bell brand was pulled out of the country.

Canada

Taco Bell has been present in Canada since 1981, with the first store opening in Windsor, Ontario
Windsor, Ontario
Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Southwestern Ontario at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. It is within Essex County, Ontario, although administratively separated from the county government. Separated by the Detroit River, Windsor...

.

China

In 2003, Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc. or Yum! is a United States-based Fortune 500 corporation. Yum! operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwide....

 introduced the Taco Bell brand into People's Republic of China. The Chinese Taco Bell restaurants were not fast-food restaurants like other Taco Bells. Instead, they were full-service restaurants called Taco Bell Grande that are more analogous to a Mexican grill in the United States. In addition to the usual taco and burritos, Taco Bell Grande also served other Mexican cuisine like albóndigas (meatball soup), tomatillo
Tomatillo
The tomatillo is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere...

 grilled chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

, fajita
Fajita
A fajita is a term found in both traditional Mexican cuisine and in Tex-Mex cuisine, commonly referring to any grilled meat served on a flour or corn tortilla. The term originally referred to the cut of beef used in the dish which is known as skirt steak. Popular meats today also include chicken,...

s, and alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 such as Margarita
Margarita
The margarita is a cocktail consisting of tequila mixed with orange-flavoured liqueur and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the glass rim. It is the most common tequila-based cocktail in the United States...

s. The chain had operated three restaurants in China, two in Shenzhen
Shenzhen
Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. The area became China's first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones...

 and one in Shanghai. However, the Shanghai location closed at the end of January 2008. One location in Shenzhen closed on February 20, 2008; the second location followed shortly after, closing on March 5, 2008.

Cyprus

A Taco Bell opened in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 in December 2009 in Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 at the MyMall. Further restaurants are planned to be opened within the next 18 months (probably also in Cyprus' capital Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

).

Greece

Greece's first Taco Bell opened in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 upon the grand opening of the newly constructed Athens Metro Mall on November 30, 2010.

Iceland

Taco Bell in Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 is operated as a part of the KFC establishment in Hafnarfjörður
Hafnarfjörður
Hafnarfjörður is a port town and municipality located on the south-west coast of Iceland, about 10 km south of Reykjavík....

, suburb of Reykjavík
Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

. It was established in late 2006, after the departure of the U.S. Navy from Naval Air Station Keflavik
Naval Air Station Keflavik
United States Naval Air Station Keflavik is a former NATO facility at Keflavík International Airport, Iceland. It is located on the Reykjanes peninsula on the south-west portion of the island...

. A second location opened in the Ártúnshöfði part of Reykjavik in November 2008. The Ártúnshöfði location is now closed, and replaced by a new location in the nearby area of Grafarholti (together with KFC). (update 07/2011)

India

India's first Taco Bell outlet opened at the Mantri square mall, Bangalore. Another outlet at the Gopalan Mall, Bangalore opened in February, 2011.

Mexico

Taco Bell has attempted to enter the Mexican market twice. After a highly-publicised launch in Mexico City in 1992, all the restaurants were closed two years later. In September 2007, Taco Bell returned to Monterrey
Monterrey
Monterrey , is the capital city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León in the country of Mexico. The city is anchor to the third-largest metropolitan area in Mexico and is ranked as the ninth-largest city in the nation. Monterrey serves as a commercial center in the north of the country and is the...

, this time promoting itself as selling American food, but closed in January 2010 due to low patronage.

Philippines

Taco Bell opened its first Philippine
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 branch on October 30, 2004 at the Gateway Mall
Gateway Mall (Araneta Center)
Gateway Mall is a shopping mall complex located at Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City. Also underway at Araneta Center is a mall expansion and construction of the Gateway Tower. Gateway Mall has won some awards in terms of its mall design and tenant mix which made the mall to become the 2006-2007...

 in Cubao, Quezon City. They now have one on the Ground Floor and one on the 4th floor in the food court at the Gateway Mall. They have also added another branch at the TriNoma
TriNoma
TriNoma is a large shopping mall in Quezon City, Philippines, owned by property development firm Ayala Land Inc...

 mall in Quezon City
Quezon City
Quezon City is the former capital and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Quezon City is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region. The city was named after Manuel L...

.On November 2010 Taco bell will open it's 4th branch at SM Seaside City Cebu
SM Seaside City Cebu
SM Seaside City Cebu will be an upcoming large shopping mall owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings. It is expected to open in the 2nd Quarter of 2013. SM Seaside City Cebu will be SM's second mall in Cebu City and 52nd mall in the Philippines. The mall will be designed by Arquitectonica, the...

 at Cebu City
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

 on 2013.

Poland

The first Polish Taco Bell store was opened in 1993. Following an aggressive campaign of expansion, Taco Bell's efforts soon withered, and the chain withdrew from Poland shortly thereafter.

Singapore

Taco Bell in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 existed for a number of years, mostly as combination stores with KFC such as the one that operated at the Funan Digital Life Mall, but in 2008, Taco Bell completely pulled out of Singapore.

Spain

The first Taco Bell in Spain was opened at Naval Station Rota in 2004 and is available only to those authorized to access the naval base. The first Taco Bell for the general public was opened in the Islazul Shopping Mall, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, in December 2008. Yum! Brands announced that it would open additional restaurants in Spain in early 2009 as part of a test trial for the European market. A second location has now opened at the La Vaguada Shopping Mall, Madrid (03/2010).
Another location recently opened at the Plaza Mayor shopping mall in Malaga, Spain.

South Korea

There are currently two locations in Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, in the Itaewon
Itaewon
Itaewon is a city district, in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is served by Seoul Subway Line 6 via Itaewon, Noksapyeong and Hanganjin stations. About 22,000 people reside in the district and it is a popular area for residents of Seoul, tourists, and U.S...

 and Hongdae
Hongdae
The Hongdae Area is a region in South Korea known for its entertainment and clubs. The area is part of the Mapo-gu district northwest of Seoul, South Korea.-Name:...

 districts, which attract the most foreigners and college students. The two branches opened in the summer of 2010, Itaewon's branch coming first. A Taco Bell had long been a presence at the U.S. Army's Yongsan Garrison
Yongsan Garrison
United States Army Garrison Yongsan is located in Seoul, South Korea and is home to the headquarters for the U.S. military presence in Korea, known as United States Forces Korea , as well as the headquarters for the Eighth United States Army and Installation Management Command Korea Region...

, which is off-limits to non-military people, and for a time there was a tongue-in-cheek grassroots campaign by non-Korean, non-military foreigners in Seoul to get another Taco Bell location.

United Arab Emirates

A Taco Bell opened in the United Arab Emirates in November 2008 in Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 at the Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall based on total area and sixth largest by gross leasable area. Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it is part of the 20-billion-dollar Burj Khalifa complex, and includes 1,200 shops...

.

Two more locations were opened at Mirdiff City Center and Deira City Center in 2010.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom was the first European country with a Taco Bell, although it remains extremely difficult for UK inhabitants to patronise a store. In 1986, a location was opened in London on Coventry Street
Coventry Street
Coventry Street is a short London street, within the City of Westminster, running from Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square. The street is the main conduit between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square and at the weekend up to 150,000 people walk from one to another along the street...

 (between Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west...

 and Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly...

) followed by a second location in Earls Court
Earls Court
Earls Court is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It is an inner-city district centred on Earl's Court Road and surrounding streets, located 3.1 miles west south-west of Charing Cross. It borders the sub-districts of South Kensington to the East, West...

 near the Earl's Court tube station
Earl's Court tube station
Earl's Court tube station is a London Underground station in Earls Court. The station is located between Earls Court Road and Warwick Road . It is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 1 and 2 and is in both zones....

. One other store opened in Uxbridge
Uxbridge
Uxbridge is a large town located in north west London, England and is the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Hillingdon. It forms part of the ceremonial county of Greater London. It is located west-northwest of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres...

 but all closed in the mid 1990s. In 1994, the university food provider Compass
Compass Group
Compass Group plc is a global contract foodservice and support services company headquartered near London, United Kingdom. It is the largest contract foodservice company in the world and has operations in over 50 countries...

 announced plans to open stores in its university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 and college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

 sites. However, only one store was opened in Birmingham University, no other stores were opened, and the Birmingham site is now closed.
There are 2 Taco Bell sites in the UK in operation at the Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

 and United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 bases at RAF Mildenhall
RAF Mildenhall
RAF Mildenhall is a Royal Air Force station located at Mildenhall in Suffolk, England. Despite its status as an RAF station, it primarily supports United States Air Force operations and is currently the home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing...

 and RAF Lakenheath
RAF Lakenheath
RAF Lakenheath, is a Royal Air Force military airbase near Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. Although an RAF station, it hosts United States Air Force units and personnel...

, but, commensurate with existing security controls, access is restricted to relevant service personnel.

Yum! Brands announced that it is considering reopening Taco Bell locations in the United Kingdom as part of a large planned expansion into Europe, with trial outlets opening first in Spain in early 2009. Yum! is taking advantage of the recent recession which led to increasing sales at other fast food outlets; it also said that there is now a greater awareness of Mexican food in the UK and that it can be successful with improved menu offerings and marketing. The first new store opened at the Lakeside Shopping Centre
Lakeside Shopping Centre
The Lakeside Shopping Centre is a large out-of-town shopping centre located in West Thurrock, in the borough of Thurrock, Essex just beyond the eastern boundary of Greater London...

 on June 28, 2010. Taco Bell opened a second store in Basildon
Basildon
Basildon is a town located in the Basildon District of the county of Essex, England.It lies east of Central London and south of the county town of Chelmsford...

 on November 29, 2010 and the third in the Manchester Arndale
Manchester Arndale
Manchester Arndale is a large shopping centre in Manchester, England. The centre was built in the 1970s when many other cities were constructing large malls. Manchester Arndale is the largest of a chain of Arndale Centres built across the UK in the 1960s and 1970s...

 on November 7, 2011.

Other countries

Taco Bell is also present in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, Aruba
Aruba
Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela and 130 km east of Guajira Peninsula...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 and on AAFES military bases in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

French fries

Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, India, and Spain are the only countries where Taco Bell offers French fries, which appears in two varieties: Fiesta Fries (Topped Fries in Spain) (like Nachos Supreme, changing nachos for fries), and regular French fries. Chili cheese fries (fries topped with beef chili, cheese, and chives) are also available in Canada. The UK branches offer Mexican (seasoned) fries.

See also

  • Priszm
    Priszm
    Priszm LP is the largest operator of Canadian fast food restaurants. The Priszm Income Fund, an income trust, owns 60.2% of Priszm.Priszm is one of the largest franchisees of Yum! Brands in the world, owning 446 restaurants of various Yum!-owned chains in Canada, namely KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell,...

  • Taco Bell chihuahua
    Taco Bell chihuahua
    Gidget "The Taco Bell chihuahua" Chipperton was a popular advertising figure and mascot, voiced by Carlos Alazraqui, and developed by TBWA and used by Taco Bell, a division of Louisville, Kentucky -based Yum! Brands. The Chihuahua is a breed commonly associated with Mexico, as are the tacos the...

  • Enchirito
    Enchirito
    Enchirito is the trademarked name of Taco Bell's menu item of the Tex-Mex food similar to an enchilada. It is composed of a flour tortilla filled with seasoned ground beef taco meat , beans, diced onions, cheddar cheese, and "red sauce".-History:The Enchirito was invented in 1968 by Bob McCrea, who...


External links

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