After two failed attempts and multiple lawsuits, Taco Bell is spreading around Australia again

Taco Bell is opening in Newcastle next week. (Photo by Yichuan Cao, NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Taco Bell is opening in New South Wales once again, beginning with a launch in Newcastle on Tuesday.
  • It follows Taco Bell’s two previous failed attempts to open in New South Wales during the 1980s and ’90s.
  • Taco Bell already has seven stores in Queensland and is set to open in Melbourne as well.

They say the third time’s a charm.

Having previously failed to crack the New South Wales market twice before, Mexican fast-food chain Taco Bell has confirmed it is opening a store in Newcastle on November 26, with another set to follow in Blacktown.

While no date for the Blacktown location has been set, Taco Bell told Business Insider Australia in an email that it will open its doors by the end of 2019.

Taco Bell has had a rocky run in Australia. It first tried to launch all the way back in 1981 but a Sydney restaurant named Taco Bell’s Casa took it to court over the name, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The company attempted to launch again in Sydney in 1997, but that failed after eight years, according to SmartCompany.

Taco Bell later returned to Australia in 2017 – opening seven stores in Queensland which remain open to this day.

“Since our launch [a] few years ago in Queensland, we have seen an overwhelming response from our fans,” a Taco Bell spokesperson told Business Insider Australia in an email. “They continue to ask for more Taco Bell restaurants across Australia and we are delighted to answer their calls, and time is right to open in New South Wales.”

When asked why the company has been successful in Queensland, the company put it down to two main reasons: the right partners and the right location. It even mentioned that it’s locations in Queensland “embraced the brand’s Southern California lifestyle vibe”.

Taco Bell was founded in California in 1962 and has earned a reputation for serving less than authentic Mexican food, from waffle tacos to chocolate quesadillas. If it manages to launch its new stores successfully, it will compete alongside other local Mexican fast-food chains including Mad Mex, Guzman y Gomez and Zambrero.

“The Mexican food category is more established now than it was just a few years ago and Australians are ready more than ever to try the unique Taco Bell experience,” the Taco Bell spokesperson added. “We are excited to continue expanding across the country and open in not one, but two more states in the next few weeks.

“Taco Bell has identified Australia as a key market for international expansion and Taco Bell’s success in Queensland has shown that Australians are hungry for more.”

In September, Taco Bell announced it will also be opening in Melbourne, with the exact dates yet to be revealed.

In Austraila, the seven Taco Bell restaurants in Queensland are operated by Collins Foods while Restaurant Brands Australia will operate the restaurants in New South Wales.

“We are excited to expand to new locations like Victoria with Collins Foods and New South Wales with another fantastic partner: Restaurant Brands Australia, who have strong restaurant experience in the region,” the Taco Bell spokesperson said.

In 2018, Taco Bell announced plans to open 50 stores in Australia over the next three years.

But it’s already facing another legal battle.

Earlier this month, Australian Mexican food company Taco Bill sought legal action to prevent Collins Foods from opening Taco Bell restaurants in Victoria and the Albury area of New South Wales based on the idea that customers would be misled to believe that both companies are “connected or affiliated”.

We’ll just have to wait and see whether it can get a foothold this time around.

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