The nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant (QSR), Taco Bell serves made-to-order and customizable tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and other specialties like Doritos Locos Tacos to 36 million customers each week.
Founded in 1962 in Downey, CA by Glen Bell, a World War II Marine Corps. veteran, Taco Bell Corp. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. Today Taco Bell has nearly 6000 restaurants in the United States and sells more than two billion tacos and one billion burritos each year. Franchising since 1964, Taco Bell currently has more than 350 restaurant franchise organizations and is now looking to bring its innovative Mexican food to consumers in new markets throughout the country. Announcing a ten-year growth plan to add 2000 new restaurants, Taco Bell will create an estimated 100,000 jobs nationwide.
Seeking new franchisees to join the team, Taco Bell franchisees must be brand builders, interested in bettering the brand, contributing ideas and being innovative; good operators, efficient with running their store and satisfying customers; and developers, willing to take and tackle development in a big way.
Dedicated to its ‘Live Más’ philosophy, which includes giving back to the community, franchisees should embody such beliefs and be willing to develop and expand the brand. “We’re looking for candidates with multi-unit QSR experience,” says Sean Reaves, Senior Manager of Franchise Recruiting and Development. Franchisees must possess excellent customer service skills, an energetic personality, entrepreneurial spirit and a devotion to their co-workers. The ideal Taco Bell franchise candidate is also well capitalized or may be an individual with high net worth who is interested in being paired with someone with operational expertise. The minimum financial requirement to become a Taco Bell Mexican restaurant franchisee in the United States is $1.5 million net worth and $750,000 in liquid assets.
Interested candidates can visit tacobellfranchises.com to learn about franchising opportunities and complete the application form. A Taco Bell team member will then contact the candidate, at which point they will be required to provide background information and undergo a financial review. Candidates will then be interviewed in the field to ensure their interests in development match Taco Bell’s expansion strategy. Lastly, they will visit the Restaurant Support Center (RSC) to meet with the franchise department and determine a match in ‘Live Más’ qualities.
Offering ongoing quality training and support, Taco Bell believes these steps to be the foundation for building a successful restaurant franchise business. As franchisees enter the Taco Bell franchise system, they will focus on four primary areas of emphasis: building their restaurant, building their team, setting up a strong start for the restaurant franchise and operational excellence. The training program has been designed into two parts. A one-week session at the RSC for the Primary Owner and eight weeks of training for the Principle Operator. The Principle Operator training consists of in-restaurant, web-based, and classroom training, and is taught by a certified Taco Bell training instructor in a certified Taco Bell training restaurant.
Once training is complete, Taco Bell has a system in place to assist with site selection, as well as internal programs to help franchisees build their restaurant. Believers that ongoing support is necessary to succeed, Taco Bell also provides coaching, recognition and continuous backing for its franchisees. “The real strength of Taco Bell is our extensive experience with operations. Our franchise business operations team help develop and manage the business throughout different stages and growth,” says Nicolas Boudet, Vice President of US Development and Franchising at Taco Bell.
Taco Bell’s newest development is the Starting Bell program. A weeklong training course for new franchise owners to become indoctrinated in the brand, Starting Bell captures the essence of how to be a successful franchisee while paying respects to the company’s humble beginning and traditional tacos. The perfect means for new teams to learn the company’s values, passion, and get a taste of what being a Taco Bell franchisee entails, this program also allows franchisees to meet one on one with executive leadership members, creating an open door environment. “One of the greatest qualities of the Taco Bell brand is how accessible the senior team are to franchisees,” Boudet says. “The team is very hands on, and in-tune to what’s happening on the ground. This makes a difference with the brand as there is no separation of thought. Executives are able to see what’s coming next, what needs to be fixed, and able to act and react very quickly.”
Taco Bell’s strong culture is largely due to the genuine relationships between franchisor and franchisees. “The transparency in the relationships with franchisees is the company’s advantage in the industry,” Boudet says. “We’re open to honest, healthy debate and engagement, and we help our franchisees go through any challenges.” Taco Bell’s strong national and international brand and known products are also key advantages to being a Taco Bell franchisee. Other benefits include; a proven operating system, access to the United Foodservice Purchasing Cooperative (UFPC), and a peer network of franchisees, of which more 35 percent of them have 25 years experience with the brand. “We are the leading Mexican QSR in the world,” Boudet says. Taco Bell was also recently awarded Marketer Of The Year, demonstrating the company’s ability to attract consumer attention with the iconic, re-energized brand.
Continuing to build relationships with consumers and help them Live Más, Taco Bell is dedicated to giving back to the community and keeping connected with its customers. “We feel that we hit the mark when it comes to engaging customers and talking their language. We understand what they want, and we provide the product while also sharing our values,” Boudet says. Pushing to elevate the Taco Bell experience, the brand is committed to providing a compelling encounter that will keep customers coming back for more.
With ambitious growth goals Taco Bell is looking for the best of the best to join the team, and now is a great time to get on board with the brand. “We’re at a point where everything is resonating with consumers,” Reaves says. “The new products are well being received, we’re developing new restaurants, sales are up; all in all it’s a phenomenal time to join the team!”
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