BREAKING NEWS : FBI offers reward for info on Waynedale Chase bank robber Full Story
SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Taco Bell luring Londoners with beer

The first thing you notice at Taco Bell's new London locations is the beer dispenser at the counter.I...

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 12:12 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 12:12 PM

The first thing you notice at Taco Bell's new London locations is the beer dispenser at the counter.

In the United States, the fast-food chain caters to families and people on the go, but as it expands across Europe it's serving more and more millennials who are keen to sit and drink a beer over burritos and churros.

Alcoholic beverages



Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade


Consumer products

Continents and regions



Food and drink

Kinds of foods and beverages


Northern Europe

Taco Bell

United Kingdom

YUM Brands Inc

This week, Taco Bell moved back into the London market after about two decades, opening four new locations as part of a broader European expansion.

The food tastes the same as in the United States, but there are lots of design differences you notice at the London locations: from the open kitchen layout to the trendy wallpaper with colorful murals and long tables with bar stools to eat in big groups.

Also, the food doesn't come wrapped the way it does stateside.

"In the U.S. so many of our customers come to us via the drive through or get their food to go, so it needs to be wrapped to stay warm," Taco Bell's general manager for Europe, Jorge Torres explains. "European consumers are much more likely to sit down to eat their food at the location. So we serve open plates, which we've also discovered means more picture sharing on social media."

The chain opened locations in London in the late 1980s, but by the 1990s Brits were saying "no quiero Taco Bell" and they all closed.

So why return now?

"Mexican food is very high profile in Europe now," Torres says. "And social media has given us a better way to gauge that the demand for Taco Bell is very much there."

The arrival of Chipotle in the United Kingdom elevated the profile of Mexican-inspired chains, but it also means there's ample competition for Taco Bell from established local competitors, like restaurants Tortilla and Wahaca.

Taco Bell is hoping inexpensive pricing sets its apart. There's a "Cravers' value menu" and "Taco Tuesdays" will feature a taco and beer for just £2 ($2.50).

The biggest challenge Taco Bell faces in the United Kingdom is Brexit.

"It's really all of the uncertainty around Brexit," Torres says "We import many ingredients from continental Europe and our earnings are eventually listed in dollars, so the fluctuating value of the pound is a challenge."

But not enough of a challenge to stop Taco Bell from investing in London.

Yum! Brands which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell believes that in order to continue to expanding they need to have a higher profile in the English capital.

There are 7,000 Taco Bells worldwide, with the company aiming to have 9,000 by 2022.

In Europe, Spain has the most Taco Bells with 50 locations and by the end of 2018. The United Kingdom is set to have 30.

Article Comments

Fort Wayne
27° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 15°
27° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 16°
27° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 17°
30° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 21°
Van Wert
30° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Slightly Warmer Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events