Best Job Ever: Taco Bell Global Public Relations
Did you know that there are over 600 Taco Bell’s internationally? That’s right – You can fulfill your Crunchy Taco craving from India to Thailand (BTW we’re in 30 countries outside of the U.S.). And who do we have to thank for helping open Taco Bell’s around the globe? Meet Richa Anand of Taco Bell’s Global Marketing and Public Relations team, who gets to work with our international markets on the daily.
We sat down with Richa to find out more about her and how she landed one of the best jobs ever at Taco Bell Corporate.
Q: How would you describe your job?
RA: Imagine a world where you don’t have a Taco Bell in your community… maybe not even in your entire country. You may have never even eaten a taco in your life! It’s my job to bring a brand that American’s have known and loved for 58 years to places it’s never existed before. In a nutshell, I share stories about Taco Bell, our food, our team members, and more to people around the world. These stories ultimately help our fans connect with us on a deeper level, and build awareness of our brand. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve gotten to visit some amazing markets throughout my time either…
Q: What did you study in school?
RA: I’ve always been a storyteller, whether in school or in my own personal life. Several teachers in high school told me I would excel in marketing or public relations, and after talking with several professionals in the industry, I realized they were right. This is where I could see my future. I went to California State University, Fullerton (go Titans!) and majored in public relations with a minor in business administration. I was incredibly involved on campus, holding several leadership roles in student organizations. I also had wonderful mentors throughout my young adulthood that encouraged me to have several internships during my four years. One of those being Taco Bell!
Q: What kind of job experiences did you have prior to Taco Bell?
RA: Before Taco Bell I spent my time in a few different industries, ranging everywhere from a boutique fashion PR agency to in-house PR at a real estate company. Twitter was just becoming a thing and my roles often were a combination of both PR and social media. While the industries may be different, storytelling has always been a passion of mine and the center of my career path.
Q: How did you come into your role at Taco Bell?
RA: As I mentioned earlier, I was incredibly involved in the PR world while in college, and spent most of my time as an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I served as Chapter President for two years and networked, networked, networked. I applied for an internship at Taco Bell and was initially turned down, but continued to stay in touch with the team. As cliché as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. A year later, the same team called and asked if I could come in for another interview. I finally got the internship! I landed a full time position once I graduated, and have been here ever since.
For the past five years, I’ve been lucky enough to move around the company into different departments, including public relations, internal communications, and international marketing. My advice - be vocal! Had I not expressed interest to my leadership about working on our global business, my path would have been far different.
Q: What advice can you give to anyone with an interest in working in the PR industry?
RA: If you’re still a college student, make sure you get as much exposure into the industry as possible. Whether that be via student organizations like PRSSA, going to industry networking events, or through internships, it’s what will help you stand out on your resume and during in-person interviews. Networking, as with most industries, is critical as well. Leave a lasting impression on a professional and follow up with them if you’re interested in learning more about their career. If there is an opportunity open on their team, they may just reach out to you!
Q: What does a typical workday at Taco Bell look like for you?
RA: Most people who answer this question will say “there’s no such thing as a typical workday.” As old as it sounds, it’s true. Some days I spend time working with other teams (operations, who run our restaurants, our food innovation team, who dream up our famous menu, etc.) on upcoming campaign launches in the U.S. Other days are spent completely devoted to global storytelling moments. Is one of our franchisees launching a new initiative that supports women in the workplace? Do we have a really innovative menu item, such as our Oatrageous Taco, launching across Europe? How can we make that story come to life, and show the inspiration behind it? Some days, I’m not even physically in the office. Part of what makes my job the best job ever is that I literally get to travel around the world introducing new countries to Taco Bell. Does it get any better than that?
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
RA: Working on new country launches exposes me to entirely new cultures and ways of marketing our brand and food. It’s humbling to learn how unique every country is, and really reinforces the fact that none of our campaigns are one size fits all. Whether fans speak an entirely different language, are on a different time zone, or even know what a taco is… my team is constantly learning and overcoming different challenges.
Q: What are you currently working on at Taco Bell?
RA: I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet… but what I can say is we’re continuing to open beautiful Taco Bell restaurants around the world, some in new countries for the very first time. Outside of expanding the brand globally, I also get to work on the soul of Taco Bell and reason our fans fell in love with the brand – our food. I’m putting the finishing touches on our communications plan for one of our biggest menu innovations of the year, launching very soon!
Q: Can you tell us a little about where Taco Bell currently is internationally?
RA: Believe it or not, the first country we entered outside of the U.S. was Guam. We opened up on the military base out there in 1973, the start of our journey across the world. Fast forward nearly five decades, we’ve opened everywhere from Romania to Australia. Back in 1990 we opened in Guatemala, which quickly became the country with the most Taco Bell restaurants (outside the U.S.). Most recently, we opened our milestone 30th country – Portugal! If you think about how many countries there are in the world, you know that we’re just getting started.
Q: Out of all of the projects you’ve worked on at Taco Bell, which one has been your favorite?
RA: It’s tough to choose just one, but I’d have to say that the most proud I’ve ever been is the work we did to announce our entrance into London back in 2018. I had the fortune of leading our “Big Bell” PR activation, one of the biggest moments in our brand’s international history. While brainstorming our big launch moment, our agency partners noticed that Big Ben – one of London’s most iconic landmarks – was down for repairs. Londoners had been missing the sounds of its classic hourly chimes for over a year. What better way to announce our entry than by lending our famous bell to the city? We worked with a sound engineer to remaster our iconic bell sound to imitate Big Ben’s famous chimes, and played that sound loud and proud for Londoners passing the landmark. We love showing up where our fans want us most, and in ways that are disruptive and clever. We never take ourselves too seriously, and had the best time working on this campaign with our UK marketing team. The campaign has since gone on to win tons of awards. So, yes, that’s definitely been my favorite!
Q: How do you stay true to the Taco Bell brand while being innovative when working with a new market?
RA: Everything we do, we do for our fans. Whether that’s opening in a new community, city, or country. Back to the Big Bell example, London was the #1 most requested city for Taco Bell to open in at the time. So, we were thrilled to finally be able to make it happen. We did it in a way that only Taco Bell could – very playful, innovative and disruptive. But we also want to make sure everything we do is relevant for the surrounding community. It’s a challenge that we face in all of our markets, but we’re always up for it. And with the help of our local teams, we always find a way to make it happen.
Q: What's next at Taco Bell that we can expect from you and the team?
RA: If you’re in the U.S., there’s a high chance that you can hop in your car and get to a Taco Bell restaurant fairly quickly. That’s because we have over 7,000 restaurants across the country. Now compare that to international. We have just over 600 restaurants across 30 countries – the potential is endless! Don’t have Taco Bell in your country just yet? We hope to change that very soon.
Q: Why is your job the best job ever?
RA: Throughout all the traveling I’ve been able to do with the brand, one of my favorite parts of the job is pretty simple - interacting with fans across the world, including our team members. Whether I’m in a small town in the UK, the capital of India, or at our grand opening of Taco Bell New Zealand, our team members are our biggest fans. I get to sit down and hear our team members reminisce about the one family trip they took to the states over a decade prior, where they had their first bite of Taco Bell and fell in love. Watching our teams and biggest fans go down memory lane and hearing the passion in their voices makes me fall in love with our brand over and over again. I’m one of the lucky few who get to go out and experience that love first-hand, time and time again. I get to travel around the world, one taco at a time, filling people’s lives with Taco Bell. Of course it’s the best job ever!
If you’re interested in a career at Taco Bell and working with people like Richa, click here to explore current job openings and apply.