Taco Bell has announced it will start serving Beer at some of its Canadian locations this summer. It’s part of a master plan to expand the chain’s footprint in this country. The bulk of the 11 new TB locations opening this year will be ‘wet’. And that’s just the start of a big push to keep the chain relevant…
Taco Bell’s parent company, YUM! Brands of Louisville, KY, says the chain will almost triple it’s Canadian presence over the next five to 10 years. That’s almost a declaration of war against competitors who are currently targeting market leader McDonald’s for supremacy. Taco Bell has had it’s ups and downs in the current decade. But it’s been riding a series of small but definite ‘ups’ for the past few years with annual sales increases, while competitors have suffered sales losses or struggled to stay even year over year.
In a National Post story this morning, Taco Bell’s Canadian General Manager, Amanda Clark, says, “Beer is something that goes well with Mexican food.” Tell me something I don’t know, Captain Obvious!
Much more than that…
But the idea goes further than the simple association.
“Sometimes, fast-food gets the rap of ‘get in and get out’,” Clark says. “The look and feel is going to be nothing like we’ve seen before. We want people to stay a while. This will be a place to come in with your friends, enjoy shareable plates, and the environment will facilitate conversation and staying longer.”
In fact, TB execs confirm that they’re looking to elevate their brand to compete with ‘fast casual’ upstarts like Panera Bread and Mucho Burrito.
Can they do it?
We’ll see. We’ll also be following the efforts of other Fast Food chains to go more up-scale and stay relevant to younger diners as what I like to call ‘the shakeout decade’ progresses…
~ Maggie J.