Fast-food chain Taco Bell will offer consumers in Canada a choice of alcoholic drinks by the end of this year.
The company – part of Yum! Brands, which also owns Pizza Hut and KFC – will initially offer a selection of beer with the potential for more beverages, like twisted freezes, to be added at a later date. Taco Bell Canada’s flagship store, in Toronto, is expected to be the first location to introduce alcohol to its menu.
It follows five years of consecutive growth for Taco Bell in Canada, during which time it has consistently outperformed the quick-service restaurant category.
“In the last five years, Taco Bell Canada has experienced tremendous growth, growing at 28%, further cementing us as Canada’s number one Mexican-inspired restaurant,” said Amanda Clark, general manager for Taco Bell Canada. “This announcement [that we will serve alcohol] highlights how committed we are to further growing our business, and how devoted we are to building deeper relationships with our customers and evolving the way they experience our brand.”
Taco Bell will partner with Canadian beer maker Labatt – the Anheuser-Busch-owned maker of Labatt Blue, which has brewed Budweiser under license since the 1980s – to select the right beer for both its food and its clientele.
It’s the latest food chain to announce that they will offer alcohol – a trend that started with Starbucks in 2012. The move represents the continued premiumisation of the quick-service restaurant industry.
In addition to serving beer, Taco Bell Canada also announced their intention to become a 700-restaurant brand in Canada. Currently, Taco Bell Canada operates 170 Canadian restaurants in over seven provinces, and is the leading Mexican-inspired quick service chain in the country.
As part of this growth strategy, the newly opened Taco Bell Canada locations will showcase an overhauled design footprint, featuring updated décor, local artwork, open kitchen layouts, open plating and shareable menus. The new Taco Bell stores provide increased transparency into how food is prepared, while also simplifying and modernising the restaurant experience, it said.
Consumers are increasingly concerned by the quality and provenance of the food they eat – both in home and out of home – as well as demanding more transparency into artificial and undesirable ingredients.
“At the core of our new design, we stay true to our Californian heritage,” Clark said. “We can’t wait for our fans to see it. Our initiatives are propelled by what the fans really want, and when it comes to dining experiences, we’re not afraid to let millennials take the driver’s seat.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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