Taco Bell is taking Glen Bell’s vision of sharing Mexican inspired food to one of the world’s largest markets: São Paulo, Brazil. On September 23, Taco Bell entered the Brazilian marketplace alongside Sforza Holding, founded by Carlos Wizard Martins.

Sforza acts as a private investment company focusing on high growth potential businesses, and operates in the retail segment with Mundo Verde, the largest retail brand specialized in natural products in Latin America. In 2016, Martins expanded his investments into the quick-service restaurant market by bringing Taco Bell to Brazil.

Martins is passionate about Taco Bell’s immense potential for growth, as well as the delicious food fans crave. “Brazil is a natural step forward as we continue to expand globally and bring our craveable, Mexican-inspired food to the world,” says Melissa Lora, president of Taco Bell International. “Sforza is an amazing franchisee who is great at operating consumer focused businesses and Carlos Martins has a track record of growth plus the vision and resources to grow with us.”

Taco Bell is continuing to set the standard for restaurant design at QSR, and the first São Paulo location is no exception. The newest Taco Bell, located in Brascan Mall, has a relaxed lounge atmosphere inspired by the brand’s California based heritage. Guests can sit back and plug in with free wifi and charging stations located throughout the restaurant. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Brahma is partnering to offer their famous Brazilian beers, which guests can enjoy inside the urban space or on the outdoor patio. Customers will experience an open kitchen layout that showcases 100 percent Brazilian sourced ingredients such as marinated steak, grilled all white meat chicken, Mexican spiced seasoned beef, freshly prepared pico de gallo and guacamole made with local avocados.

Classics like the Crunchy Taco, Burrito Supreme, Crunchwraps, and Quesadillas are all made to order, alongside unique Mexican-inspired dessert items including churros filled with dulce de leche, paletas frozen fruit bars and Taco Bell’s local Chocodilla—a grilled tortilla filled with delicious melted Ovomaltine chocolate.

On grand opening day, hundreds of fans waited in line for hours to have their first taste of Taco Bell in Brazil. The first 100 Taco Lovers in line received limited edition numbered t-shirts commemorating the event, which will grant them exclusive access to future Taco Bell openings in São Paulo.

“Taco Bell is the perfect fit for Brazil because we have a passionate fan base of Taco Lovers who have been asking for us to bring our iconic tacos and burritos to São Paulo,” adds Shivram Vaideeswaran, director of marketing for Taco Bell International. “Our super fans are spreading the word across the city, and Friday’s amazing grand opening shows how excited they are for Taco Bell.”

Taco Bell is sharing Glen Bell’s legacy by taking the beloved Crunchy Taco he introduced to America and sharing it with the world. Along with the Brascan Mall location, Taco Bell and Sforza are planning an aggressive growth track by expanding their reach in Brazil. Taco Lovers can expect four more locations to open throughout São Paulo by the end of 2016, and at least 25 by 2019. Currently, Taco Bell has more than 300 restaurants in 26 countries outside of the United States. Taco Bell’s first restaurant in Brazil will be the latest addition to the brand’s global growth strategy of reaching 1,000 restaurants internationally by 2022. At the same time, Taco Bell is rapidly expanding domestically, aiming to be a 15 billion dollar brand by the 2022.

Franchising, Growth, News, Taco Bell