My year-end top brand stories recap was well received last year, and I decided to do it again. I’ll break from my usual Q&A format to recap this year’s most important brand developments in fast food.
Q: What are the best ways to promote a new menu item?
A: Product innovation is no longer simply a positioning strategy; it's become a necessity for all quick serves. So it's smart to look into introducing a new menu item.
The Cypress Group acted as the exclusive advisor to R & R Ventures in the refinancing of its Taco Bell Restaurants and the acquisition of corporate Taco Bell Restaurants in Northern Virginia. R & R is owned by Robert Calucci, a 20-year veteran of the Taco Bell system. Cypress represented R & R in identifying the opportunity for the financing, conducting a competitive process, structuring the transaction, and managing the closing.
Fall hunger-relief initiatives like September’s Hunger Action Month and last week’s World Food Day from the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) have spurred quick serves into action to thwart the global hunger problem.
Taco Bell raised a record $3 million through its World Hunger Relief promotion, which ran September 26 through October 17. Customers were offered an opportunity to donate $1 to the WFP, which reaches more than 97 million people in 80 countries.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Taco Bell Corp. announced a multiyear expansion of their marketing partnership that will continue Taco Bell’s position as the league’s Official Quick Service Restaurant Partner—a position it has held since 2009. This partnership will help Taco Bell and the NBA’s fan bases connect with both through marquee league events and NBA-themed promotions in restaurants nationwide.
The best drive thrus run like machines. Simple goals are met over and over: Orders go out quickly, the food is delivered fresh, and the right orders get to the right cars. But in the drive thru, pressure can run high and the smallest mistakes can prove catastrophic, backing up lines and spelling disaster for both customers and the restaurant’s bottom line.
Taco Bell and the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, which seeks to inspire and enable America’s teens to graduate from high school, announced that its seventh year of World Hunger Relief (WHR) efforts will focus on teens around the world.
Since the advent of the modern quick-service drive thru—some would say in the early 1970s, though the idea of a pick-up window has been around for much longer—operators have tinkered with the nuts and bolts to create a drive thru that is as fast, efficient, and pleasant as possible. Innovations throughout the years, from wireless headsets and order-confirmation boards to dual lanes and pre-sell signage, have created a better drive thru capable of handling the 60–70 percent of business that now loops the exterior of most quick-service restaurants.
Taco Bell is introducing the new “House of Dew”—three Mountain Dew–based frozen beverages—to hit menus nationwide on September 26.
The new “House of Dew” at Taco Bell will launch with two new fan favorites—Mtn Dew Distortion Freeze and Mtn Dew Typhoon Freeze—in addition to the popular Mtn Dew Baja Blast Freeze, first introduced nationally in March 2013.
The new frozen drinks offer the flavor and intensity of Mtn Dew with the added blast of sour lime (Distortion Freeze) and tropical punch (Typhoon Freeze).
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and Taco Bell announced a co-branded, six-week “Play the Future First” promotion, beginning September 26, that will give away PlayStation4 (PS4) computer entertainment systems in connection with Taco Bell $5 Buck Boxes and Big Boxes to winning participants.
The “Play the Future First” promotion runs in the U.S. until November 10, and gives fans the chance to win the highly anticipated PS4 system before it hits stores nationwide on November 15.