Taco Bell surpasses international expansion goals, on track to operate more than 1,000 restaurants outside the U.S.
Irvine, Calif. (February 15, 2022) – Taco Bell is kicking off 2022 by surpassing international milestones abroad as the brand celebrates its 100th restaurant opening in Spain and welcomes even more taco loving fans worldwide. Taco Bell opened its first restaurant outside the states in 1973, and in just the last two years, the brand has grown its store count by more than 25%. With growth plans as strong as ever, Taco Bell and its international franchisees have plans to operate more than 1,000 restaurants internationally.
As one of Taco Bell’s fastest growing markets outside the U.S., Spain has now opened the doors to its 100th restaurant. Upon completion of this year’s Spain restaurant openings alone, the brand expects to contribute over 2,000 jobs to the local economy, and even more indirect jobs through expanded supply chain and vendor needs.
"Our international franchise partners and team members in Taco Bell restaurants around the world fuel the fire of our brand and are a huge testament to what we are building together," said President of Taco Bell, International, Julie Felss Masino. "With the partnership of people like Spain master franchisee, Ignacio Mora-Figueroa, our international expansion to 1,000 restaurants outside the U.S. allows us a bigger footprint to create more fans around the world."
Later this year, restaurant doors will continue to open in major cities across India, Australia and the UK. These three additional international markets are accelerating quickly, reaching growth milestones of their own.
The brand’s leading digital innovation has only accelerated international expansion milestones like these. Taco Bell’s digital sales growth was the highest of all Yum! Brands’ international businesses, surpassing 50% growth year over year. Taco Bell UK now drives 60% of its business through digital -- the highest of any international market.
In May 2021, Taco Bell launched its first-ever global brand campaign with “Taco Moon,” giving fans around the world a chance to enjoy a free taco in honor of the moon resembling the iconic crunchy taco. Under the same #ISeeATaco campaign umbrella, the brand invited 25 markets around the world to join in on International Taco Day celebrations by launching “Tacos IRL.” Taco Bell fans received a free taco simply by sending the familiar taco emoji on any mobile device. This campaign in October 2021 resulted in the highest sales week in Taco Bell international history.
To date, all Taco Bell restaurants internationally are franchise-owned. Spain’s milestone store opening is a credit to Casual Brands Group, led by Ignacio Mora-Figueroa, and the way they are building the brand and delighting fans all over Spain.
About Taco Bell Corp.
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About Taco Bell International
Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), is the world's leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant (QSR) brand. Taco Bell serves made-to-order and customizable tacos and burritos and other specialties with bold flavors, quality ingredients, breakthrough value and best-in-class customer service to over 40 million customers weekly across the globe. There are currently 800 Taco Bell restaurants across 31 countries outside of the United States.