We’ve already taken a look at some unknown facts about Taco Bell, mostly concerning what you can get from their secret menu and how you can maximize your orders for the best meal possible. However, there is a lot more to Taco Bell than just tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. Oh yes, there is actually a lot of interesting information behind the history of the famous fast food chain. In this article, we are going to examine even more secrets about Taco Bell, but we’re going to dive a little bit further into its history to examine some of the stranger things about it. These facts aren’t going to leave a bad taste in your mouth, nor are they going to turn you off from eating at Taco Bell if that is really something you like to do. However, they will reveal some truths about the company that will certainly make you think about how fast food chains achieve the heights of fame that they have reached in the modern age. Did you know that Taco Bell used to serve a sandwich? Or that it couldn’t find any success south of the border? If you want toi explore the truth behind these facts and more, then keep reading for part 2 of secrets that Taco Bell employees don’t want you to know!
10. Taco Bell failed in Mexico
It’s hard to imagine that a fast food juggernaut like Taco Bell could manage to do poorly anywhere. After all, it’s a major force in the industry, with locations all over the US and Canada. However, there is one market that Taco Bell could never quite penetrate: Mexico. As it turns out, the people of Mexico are not so keen on eating the American version of something they have perfected. It all started in the early 90s when Taco Bell made their first attempt to get into the Mexican market. It was a disaster. why would the citizens of Mexico throw money away at Taco Bell when they can get the real thing (which is way better) on almost every street corner? So after that initial failure, Taco Bell tried once again to break into the Mexican market in the late 2000s. This time, they saw a little more success, but they once again had to close all their stores down after just three years. Perhaps they should just stick to their business north of the border?
9. Taco Bell did use a bun at one point
“Think outside the bun.” That’s been the Taco Bell philosophy for years. Well, right up until it became “Live mas.” still, people remember that original slogan far better than anything Taco Bell has come up with since. What it really means is that people don’t have to be relegated to eating just burgers, chicken sandwiches, or anything else served on a bun (with or without sesame seeds). With all that raging against the bun, you would think that Taco Bell had never attempted any kind of sandwich on its menu. well, we’re here to tell you that you would be entirely incorrect in that assumption. As it turns out, Taco Bell once had an item on their menu known as the Bell Beefer. The Bell Beefer was nothing more than a glorified sloppy Joe, but it still remains one of those dishes that is remembered by the people who were lucky (or unlucky) enough to actually try it. They probably would rather people forget all about their ill-fated journey into bun territory, but the internet never forgets.
8. The cheese they use has a really long shelf life
We’re all aware of the fact that Taco Bell’s ingredients are just a little bit iffy. After all, how good can something be when it gets shipped to the restaurant in a plastic bag and is then reheated in boiling water? Sure, a fancy pants chef might call that sous-vide to try and give it some merit, but come on: it’s not a piece of seabass, it’s a beef mixture that is only 88% beef. So it might not surprise anyone to learn that the cheese used at Taco Bell actually has a very long shelf life. According to Reddit user HEYEVERYONEISMOKEPOT, “As far as cheese, it’s real but it also doesn’t expire for a very very very long time (like almost a year) so it’s got to be full of preservatives.” So you really have to ask yourself, what is going on with that cheese that it can sit around for a year and not go bad? The user added that it does get used up quickly, so it doesn’t actually sit around for that long, but it’s still not a really great thing to think about.
7. Being rude can cost you your extra cheese
Working in the service industry means that you will inevitably encounter people who are rude. It’s just the way it is. Sure, plenty of customers who come in will be polite, or at the very least, neutral enough that you don’t even think about it later. However, there are some customers that can just totally ruin your day. Luckily, it seems that karma catches up with those customers right away, in at least a small way. Reddit user HEYEVERYONEISMOKEPOT shared yet another piece of wisdom in regards to rude customers ordering extra cheese, saying “I will admit there are times when I do just put the same amount when people would be a******s.” However, the user also added, “but there’s also times people were nice and we’d put like 5x extra.” So there you have it. Treat the people who are serving you with just a human amount of decency and you’ll get more than you were asking for. Hopefully, this serves as a lesson to all the rude people out there that acting like a jerk never gets you very far in life.
6. They got sued over their chihuahua mascot
Anyone who was around in the late nineties or the early 2000s and is old enough to remember watching TV during that time (like actual TV, not streaming something with zero commercials) probably recalls the classic Taco Bell commercials which featured an adorable little chihuahua, who would look into the camera and say “Yo quiero Taco Bell.” For those who don’t speak Spanish, that means “I want Taco Bell.” These ads were huge, and become a pop culture staple. Of course, Mexican Americans were not exactly pleased with the depiction of a stereotypical Mexican dog breed speaking Spanish and demanding tacos. However, someone else was more upset about it: Joseph Shields and Thomas Rinks. these two came up with a character named Psycho Chihuahua, whom the Taco Bell executives tried to buy from the creators for their ads. When a deal couldn’t be reached, the Taco Bell folks just went ahead and used a talking chihuahua anyway. The original creators sued the restaurant chain for $30 million. The judge ruled in their favor, but rather than just pay the sum, Taco Bell went ahead and actually appealed the suit. However, this was a massive mistake, as the next judge to hear the case actually ended up awarding the original creators even more money, deciding that Taco Bell actually owed them $42 million.
5. Baja Blast has absolutely no nutritional value
People who love Taco Bell know that pairing it with the right drink is essential. Of course, no one is going to be enjoying a nice cab merlot with a Doritos Locos Taco. No, they’re going to be sipping on something far more delicious: a nice cup of Mountain Dew Baja Blast, the drink that was made exclusively to pair with Taco Bell. Now, we all know that soda is not good for you in any shape or form, but you might be thinking that there could still be some nutritional value in a drink that is supposed to have tropical fruit flavors. Does it have a slight hint of vitamin C? Vitamin A? Anything at all? As it turns out, the answer is a resounding no. If you check the nutritional info on the Taco Bell website, you’ll see that Baja Blast delivers absolutely no essential nutrients. It is literally the definition of empty calories. You’re really not getting any benefit to your body from drinking it whatsoever. It does, however, pack a walloping 51 grams of sugar in every 18 oz serving. So it’s fine if you’re looking for a quick sugar fix, but it wouldn’t do you any good on a desert island, besides quenching your thirst.
4. The original logo was problematic
The Taco Bell logo is as familiar to anyone as Colonel Sanders’s smiling face or the Golden Arches at this point in fast food history. However, like every other fast food company out there, Taco Bell’s logo has gone through a few changes. One of the biggest and most important changes was from the original logo. Now, you might think that a bell would have always been the obvious choice for a restaurant called Taco Bell. Unfortunately, it seemed that the minds working for the restaurant back in the day thought the better way to go was to have a representation of a man in a sombrero, reclining in what looks like a sitting position right on top of their sign. If it’s not entirely evident to you why this was a horribly racist logo design, allow us to explain it to you. Mexican people were wrongfully perceived as being lazy, which became sort of the original stereotype for an entire race of people. The image of a sleeping Mexican man wearing a poncho and sombrero had been the signature racist depiction of Mexican people for many years. Once Pepsico took over Taco Bell, they rightfully changed the logo to something less offensive. We’re all better off for it, because who would really want to eat somewhere with a grossly racist caricature as their logo?
3. Demolition Man inspired the new logo design
The 90s was a wild time for movies, and Demolition Man was no exception. This ridiculous action film starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes depicted a 20th-century cop being thawed out in the future in order to catch a criminal who had been set free from his own cryogenic prison. Yeah, that premise is already the silliest thing ever, but the film went to great lengths to make the future as wacky as possible (anyone who has seen the film knows what we mean when we mention the “three seashells” for example). However, one of the funniest aspects of the film’s version of the future was that the only restaurant left in existence was Taco Bell, who had won what was referred to as the “Franchise Wars.” It was this film’s futuristic logo for the restaurant that inspired its current design. Before the film, the Taco Bell logo was much more downplayed, relying on brown and yellow coloring (similar to its food, really). Demolition Man introduced the more streamlined purple and yellow logo that everyone recognizes today.
2. Taco Bell hot sauce can strip the grime from pennies
We all know that the hot sauces at Taco Bell are really what make the food worthwhile. After all, a taco or burrito only gets better when you dump multiple packets of fire sauce on it (although everyone is still waiting for the return of both the volcano and the verde sauces). While hot sauce aficionados would most likely laugh in the face of these sauces, there is some truth to the fact that they are quite volatile. In fact, the little hot sauce packets from Taco Bell that you use to spice up your nachos and quesadillas can actually strip the grim off of pennies. This has to do with the fact that the sauces are so loaded with vinegar. The natural acid just cleans the gunk right off of the coins. Maybe that’s something to think about the next time you want to dump like three or four of those sauces on a single taco. Of course, most of the sauces taste so good that it’s easy to ignore the more caustic effects they might have on metal. Still, it’s something to consider if you’re a Taco Bell fan who also has a penny collection that needs cleaning.
1. The Taco Bell beef seasoning includes cocoa
If there’s one thing that makes the tacos from Taco Bell extra special, it’s their beef. Now, of course, we’ve all heard the stories about what goes into the beef, how it’s not actual meat, how it has a ton of mystery ingredients. Look, Taco Bell straight up admitted that their beef mixture is about 88% beef, while the rest of it is filled out with oats. However, there’s no denying that the spice mixture makes it all taste pretty amazing. So what goes into that spice mixture exactly to give it such a signature flavor? As it turns out, a lot of the ingredients are your standard taco beef ingredients: chili powder, cumin, a little bit of onion powder… But there is actually one secret ingredient that goes into Taco Bell’s beef that gives it a more complex flavor profile, and if you didn’t know it was there you might never even notice it. That secret ingredient is… Cocoa powder! As it turns out, Taco Bell has always used cocoa powder as a seasoning in their beef. It makes sense if you’re familiar with some Mexican cooking traditions. Mole sauce (pronounced mo-lay) is a traditional Mexican pepper sauce that utilizes chocolate to counteract a lot of the heat from the peppers. The dark color from the cocoa powder also helps to give the beef a nice, deep color that looks more palatable. So, as it turns out, Taco Bell is utilizing some classic Mexican culinary traditions in its cooking. It’s just doing so in a way that is a little bit of a secret. Well, it’s not a secret anymore, we guess.