Taco Bell Wants To Turn Things Around By Going Gourmet And Competing With Chipotle

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Taco Bell is having trouble. It has closed 1,000 stores since 2000, while its brethren at Yum! Brands — KFC and Pizza Hut — have undergone extensive expansion overseas.Now, it’s trying to right the ship by repositioning itself to compete against now-trendy chains like Chipotle and Jack in the Box’s Qdoba, reports Leslie Patton at Bloomberg.

In the fast food sector, Taco Bell has struggled to keep with big boys like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. With the rapid rise of fast-casual Mexican-style restaurants like Chipotle, things have just gotten worse.

Taco Bell was also set back by the “36% beef” lawsuit, which was dismissed in January of last year. Fallout from the suit lasted longer than expected, and Taco Bell had to change up its marketing to patch things up.

So what’s Taco Bell doing to try to turn things around?

It has started working with Miami chef Lorena Garcia to revamp its menu to appeal to Chipotle customers, and is adding menu items like black beans, cilantro rice and corn salsa, reports Patton.

The concern for Taco Bell is that it may scare away its current customers — a younger demographic who go to the chain for its affordable prices, and reject forking over $8 for a Chipotle fajita burrito. But if all goes to plan, Taco Bell will offer similar quality food at a much lower price.

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