Taco Bell

Rethinking Gen Y

A recent study finds that Millennials may be more closely linked to their predecessors than previously believed.

As the vanguard of the Internet Age, Generation Y—the Millennial Generation—has been cast as a paradigm-busting demographic that requires businesses and marketing strategists to rethink everything.

But a recent study on Millennials finds that the demographic may be more similar to (and influenced by) its Gen X and Boomer counterparts than previously thought.

In fact, the study, “Culture of Millennials 2011,” challenges several widely held assumptions about Millennials, says Laurie Demeritt, president of Hartman Group, which released the study.

Chicken Flatbread Sandwich Returns to Taco Bell

Taco Bell today announced it will re-introduce the popular 99-cent Chicken Flatbread Sandwich, featuring 100 percent marinated all-white-meat chicken and a melted blend of three cheeses on warm, soft flatbread.  Starting September 5 and continuing through December 25, Taco Bell’s Chicken Flatbread Sandwich will be available nationwide at participating locations and come in two bold flavors: original creamy chipotle and new bacon ranch. It will also be a part of two larger meal offerings, a $3.99 combo and a $5 box.

Taco Bell Promotes Up-and-Coming Bands with Contest

Today, Taco Bell announced the call for entries for its 2011 Feed the Beat program, giving 100 artists $500 in Taco Bell gift cards to keep their hunger satisfied on the road while also providing unique marketing support to further enhance their career. To sign up, artists can go online now through Friday, September 9, at http://www.feedthebeat.com. The lineup will be announced on Monday, September 26. Great music, free food, that’s Feed the Beat.

Top 50 Breakdown by Market Segments

The top quick-serve and fast-casual brands in the nation.

The Case for Cheap Eats

In the hands of the quick-service restaurant operator, price might be the ultimate weapon, the key ingredient to swing a customer and prompt a purchase in today’s dollar-conscious market.

And the quick-service industry knows it all too well, an awareness that has sparked a decades-long raging debate about what cheap food—a term used here to describe price rather than a judgment on food quality—does for a restaurant brand, its operators, and the consumer.

Taco Bell Wants You to ‘Spend Less’ This Summer

Taco Bell launched a new, integrated marketing campaign aimed at summer customers looking to pinch a few pennies.

The new campaign, titled “Spend Less Summer,” features TV advertisements starring comedian Aasif Mandvi of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” as Mr. Responsibility, a value-minded character who deals responsibly with life’s many challenges.

Fast Food Closing in on Full Service in Customer Satisfaction

The quick-service industry is closing the customer satisfaction gap standing between it and the full-service industry, according to a new study.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), released today, found that customer satisfaction with the quick-serve industry had increased 5.3 percent between 2010 and 2011, to a score of 79 out of 100.

The full-service industry, meanwhile, increased only 1.2 percent to a score of 82.

Bell on the Ball

A group of cartoon superheroes dubbed the Super Delicious Ingredient Force that lives in a “Fortress of Flavor” will never be the stars of a marketing campaign for Panera Bread. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells will never say that a $2.69 taco is expensive. And it’s highly unlikely that McDonald’s will issue a public statement thanking the Center for Science in the Public Interest for its legal action against Happy Meals.

Interpreting the Top 100

Every year, many of us anxiously await the release of Technomic’s Fast Casual Top 100 report. Technomic’s Darren Tristano, one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, gave me an interview and a sneak peek at the report. Here are his thoughts, followed by a few of my own.

Darren, what is the size of the fast-casual segment (2010)?