15 Little-Known Facts About Taco Bell

If you love Mexican food and creative, sort-of-Mexican-adjacent food, Taco Bell is probably high on your list of places to eat. Perhaps you know the whole menu from top to bottom, but do you know how long that menu has been around? What about how many tacos this eatery sells per year? Check out these little-known Taco Bell facts before you make your run for the border.

Making History
Taco Bell has been around for more than 50 years. Here’s what’s gone down during that time:

  1. The first Taco Bell opened in 1962 in Downey, California, which is also where one of the first McDonald’s is located.
  2. The original Taco Bell location had no indoor seating, but it did have a patio where customers could listen to mariachi bands.
  3. The origin of Taco Bell’s name is simple, as it’s named after its founder, Glen Bell.
  4. Glen Bell created the first fast-food hard taco shell at a time when most Americans were used to eating soft tacos, mostly at sit-down eateries.
  5. Taco Bell was the first fast food brand to hire women as managers.
  6. In 2013, Taco Bell became the first fast food place to eliminate its kids’ menu, a move aimed to appeal to the 20-something crowd.

The Numbers to Know
We know Taco Bell is among the top fast-food restaurants around. But just how popular is it? These stats will fill you in:

  1. Taco Bell serves over 1 billion burritos and 2 billion tacos every year.
  2. Since Taco Bell created the Doritos Locos Taco in 2012, it has sold more than 1 billion of them.
  3. In fact, the Doritos Locos Taco was so successful — making Taco Bell $1 million per day at first — that the eatery had to hire 30,000 more people to handle the extra business.
  4. Taco Bell’s app, called Live Más, has been downloaded over 3 million times, and its users tend to spend 20 percent more than those who order with a cashier.

All About the Ads
Does “Yo quiero Taco Bell” ring a, well, bell? Yeah, just about everyone remembers the Taco Bell Chihuahua from the late ‘90s. But few people know these facts:

  1. The Taco Bell Chihuahua was a female dog named Gidget, and she lived until the ripe age of 15.
  2. Despite the immense popularity of Gidget’s commercials, Taco Bell ended that ad campaign because it never increased sales; in fact, sales were down by 6 percent in 2000.
  3. Taco Bell had planned to feature Billy Mays in a commercial in 2009, but he died shortly before the ad was supposed to be recorded.
  4. During a promotion for a $2 meal deal, Taco Bell asked the government to bring back the $2 bill.
  5. Another promotion tactic involved publicly asking 50 Cent to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent to promote their taco prices … but instead of agreeing, he sued them and won!