Taco Bell is looking to extend its product range into the breakfast day-part, MCA has learnt.
Jorge Torres, general manager for Taco Bell Europe, told MCA,it “would love to do breakfast soon”. We think there is an opportunity and the way that they do it in the US is amazing,” he said. Its range in the US includes grilled breakfast burritos with egg, nacho cheese sauce and sausage crumbles, mini skillet bowls, and sausage flatbread quesadillas.
The night time day-part is also “a big opportunity for us”, he added. Its typical trading hours are currently lunchtime and evenings, but it does have promotions such as Taco Tuesdays in order to drive customer spend in the afternoon, said Torres.
While the majority of its stores close between 8-10pm, some are open much later, such as its restaurant in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, which is open till 4am. “It is an interesting neighbourhood where customers either work, live or play,” said Torres.
In terms of the evening opportunity, he said it makes a lot of sense in terms of the characteristics of the brand and the target audience – predominately millennials – it wants to reach. However, while Taco Bell sells alcohol – beers and hard shakes – at its restaurants, Torres said that this is a bonus in terms of sales and that people come for the food.
In addition to extending its day-parts Torres said he was also keen to boost the drive-thru side of the business, though he doesn’t believe they will ever take off in the same way they have in the US where they are more reliant on cars.
“In the US, 70% of Taco Bell’s sales come through the drive-thrus. It is a behaviour that is so embedded in the industry over there,” he said.
The operator has just opened its fifth drive-thru, and 39th site, in the UK – in Doncaster’s Herten Triangle development, and Torres is keen to build them into its operating model, in order to create a balanced portfolio. “I think that drive-thru sales will slowly grow to be a considerable part of our business – I would like to see it at c30%,” he said.
Taco Bell is looking to open 20 UK sites during the course of 2019, as it aims to reach c170 sites in the next five years. It is due to open its 40th site in Chatham Dockside, Kent, later this month.