Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Taco Bell to your door, and more

April 10, 2015

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You could soon open the door to Taco Bell.

It’s possible to get just about anything delivered these days, depending on where you live. Amazon will bring you groceries. Starbucks will deliver coffee. And now, Taco Bell is going to test out dropping off tacos.

The company, a division of Yum Brands, is trying to make sure that its delivery service is consistent with Taco Bell expectations, the company’s CEO, Brian Niccol told Nation’s Restaurant News.

He said delivery is the “No. 1 request” from Taco Bell customers. Already, McDonald’s has said it is considering a McDelivery program, while Burger King has begun delivering its lineup in selected markets through BKDelivers.

Food delivery is a $70 billion business long dominated by pizza chains, Chinese restaurants and in many cities, coffee shops. However, the emergence of food delivery companies such as Seamless and GrubHub is causing other types of restaurants to feel they need to get into the act.

With its delivery plan, Niccol said Taco Bell wants to position itself with millennials, as well as their younger siblings. “I know a lot of people are talking about creating modern fast-food brands, and a lot are trying. But we’re already on our way,” he told the industry trade publication. “We’re continuing to move Taco Bell into its own category.”

Taco Bell wants to be known as an “on-demand brand” and that includes being everywhere that its audience wants it to be. On Tuesday, Taco Bell is rolling out a new breakfast biscuit taco in markets nationwide, continuing its assault on the first meal.

Many of its efforts are aimed at urban locations where space is tight. For instance, Taco Bell set up shop in a shipping container at last month’s South By Southwest music festival in Austin. It could roll out 100 to 200 such tiny, portable stores, according to Niccol.

And, Taco Bell also is testing out a catering business in Houston. Another step might be a loyalty program, similar to what Starbucks has done by awarding stars each time a member purchases a drink.

Taco Bell, which has 6,199 restaurants worldwide, wants to open 2,000 more restaurants in the U.S. Niccol says the company has the chutzpah to get there.

“We know who we are. We’re proud of who we are,” he told the restaurant publication. “We make craveable food really fast, and we are the value leader.”

For story ideas, visit your local Taco Bell and see what customers think of these ideas. Are any of your local fast food businesses delivering? And, what kind of shape is the food in when it arrives?

STORY IDEAS

Taco Bell

Yum Brands 

Top 10 Global Fast Food Chains 

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