Now that Taco Bell has seemingly launched its new breakfast menu with considerable success – and now that my Taco Bell breakfast has finally digested – it’s time for the company’s biggest thinkers to keep the idea machine rolling with newer and better ways to expand their brand. However, the newest idea doesn’t have much to do with Taco Bell other than it being under the same corporate umbrella, because it’s going to be a brand new type of restaurant, and as always, the fun begins in Huntington Beach, California. Seriously, would it kill you corporate calorie-pushers to test something in Central Florida just once?
The idea is called the U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Tap Room, but aside from Taco in the name, you won’t be begging your sober roommate to drive you to this restaurant at 3 am for three quesadillas and an order of Pizza Hut breadsticks (don’t you judge me). This new restaurant will resemble Chipotle in style and food quality, but almost everything on the menu is going to be a new “food truck” fusion-style take on the traditional taco. I hope you’re hungry for buzz words, because Taco Bell’s senior brand manager Jeff Jenkins is serving them hot off the grill.
“A year ago, we conducted an extensive study on our consumer segmentation and identified a separate consumer group that simply was not going to visit quick service restaurants, at all,” Jeff Jenkins, Taco Bell senior brand manager, said in a statement. “The result is U.S. Taco, a new concept sit-down restaurant that offers the best fusion of American-inspired flavors in tacos, fries and shakes for that emerging demographic of edgy foodies looking for a unique dining experience.” (Via the L.A. Times)
Not gonna lie, I vurped harder while reading “edgy foodies” in a statement from Taco Bell than I did while eating the entire breakfast menu. One of the examples that the company has offered for a fusion-style taco is this Philadelphia cheese steak version that just caused me to throw seven dollars at my monitor.
“The menu is simple and we wanted it limited to be focused on tacos, fries and shakes,” said Rene Piscoitti, executive chef at U.S. Taco Co. and a Taco Bell executive, adding that the chain has already developed a number of tacos well beyond what will be offered at first. “We’re starting with 10 tacos but we have an opportunity for more — we have 20 more in queue we could pull in anytime.” (Via Ad Age)
While the Huntington Beach location won’t be selling booze, there’s a Los Angeles store in the works that will have beer, wine and specialty drinks, including the Mexican Car Bomb, which is made up of vanilla ice cream, tequila caramel sauce, chocolate flakes and Guinness stout, according to Ad Age. For now, the plan is to see how the Huntington restaurant does before opening the L.A. spot, and if both of those do well, the company will start searching for more locations for us to get ridiculously fatter at.