Taco Bell

Aug 6, 2020 | Report Announcements

Taco Bell is extremely well positioned as the only $1B+ national QSR Mexican player (category of 1) with core equity around abundant value, craveable innovation and a bold flavor profile. Its compelling value equation extends well beyond the notion of “cheap food” to affordable food that also offers appealing taste, flavor & gratification (food people want, not just what they can afford) and it is notable that the brand has been successful at balancing value with margins which reflects a material COGs out-performance which is facilitated by its ability to mix & match an abundance of inexpensive ingredients. While the brand is extremely dialed-into the Millennial demo with a very targeted menu and marketing strategy, Taco Bell also enjoys a universal appeal that provides a broad market reach. Access benefits from delivery, no-contact drive-thru, TB’s app and its new rewards program. Further, operational improvements are helping with service speed and guest satisfaction scores. This all translates into a long track record of healthy comp growth with the system’s 2019 AUV at an all-time high (capacity benefits from a menu that addresses multiple dayparts including breakfast, lunch, dinner, Happier Hour & late-night) and 2019 store-level dollar profits also at an all-time high. Having said all this, it is notable that Taco Bell’s post-lockdown comps have not fared as well as the other drive-thru oriented QSR chains, reflecting its Millennial orientation (a demo that was particularly stressed by the lockdown) which also translated into a corresponding loss of late-night sales. In conclusion, Taco Bell remains very well situated as one of the most relevant QSR brands in the 21st century even as it must wait for an eventual return of the Millennials and late-night.

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