Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), is the most recent comeback kid of the fast-food genre. After recovering from the fallout of last year’s pulled consumer lawsuit against the quality of its seasoned beef, the company reported higher profits earlier this year and projects an increase in second-quarter same-store sales.
During a meeting with investors at last week’s Morgan Stanley Retail and Restaurant Conference, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed outlined a few details about some additional menu changes coming to the Mexican chain, Nation’s Restaurant News reported.
Here’s a look at a few of menu projections.
- Expansion of Doritos Locos Tacos line: Much of Taco Bell’s turnaround can be attributed to the phenomenal success of its Doritos Locos Tacos — a taco featuring a crunchy nacho cheese Doritos shell. Yum Brands plans to continue its partnership with PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) — which owns the Doritos brand under its Frito-Lay division — to bring customers different flavors of Doritos Locos Tacos. According to Creed, a “Cool Ranch” flavor will be unveiled next, followed by a “Hot and Spicy” version.
- Systemwide rollout of Cantina Bell: The chain has been testing high-quality menu items under its Cantina Bell line — comparable to what one would find at Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) — in its Bakersfield, Calif., and Louisville, Ky., markets. The menu, which includes ingredients like whole black beans and corn and pepper salsa, will roll out systemwide sometime this year.
- Expansion of breakfast menu to more locations: Taco Bell plans to expand its FirstMeal breakfast offerings to about 250 additional locations in 2012. The chain currently is testing its breakfast platform in 750 locations in the West.
- Happier Hour: The chain also plans to test what it’s calling the Happier Hour menu between meal times. The menu will include various snack options.
The menu isn’t the only aspect of Taco Bell to undergo changes. Creed also said it plans to have 55% of its U.S. stores re-imaged by the end of 2012.