Taco Bell Executive Summary
Taco Bell is extremely well positioned as the only $1B+ national QSR Mexican player (category of 1) with core equity around abundant value and craveable food with a bold flavor profile. The chain’s cult, “hipness” lifestyle and Live Más/Live More brand positioning appeals to Millennials who tend to follow their dreams at all costs while seeking food as an experience. A QSR Mexican menu (crunchy, spicy, melty & grilled) features a variety of craveable tacos, burritos, specialties (Crunchwrap, Chalupa, Quesadilla, Quesarito, Gordita, Taco Salad & Mexican Pizza) & nachos and its spicy/bold flavor profile works well with its Millennial & ethnic demos. One of the strongest price/abundance value equation in QSR (Taco Bell seeks to celebrate value rather than apologize for it) is facilitated by material COGs out-performance which is driven by the ability to mix & match an abundance of inexpensive ingredients. Brand relevance is further reflected by ramping digital sales (12% sales mix during 4Q20 was 2x pre-lockdown levels) helped by the launch of its loyalty program and the expansion of delivery with new DSP aggregators. This trend should be further propelled by the rollout of new store formats optimized for digital pick-up orders (increasing off-premise capacity). A positive long-term sales outlook reflects: strong value equation; innovative marketing calendar; strong positioning with Millennials; ability to address multiple dayparts including breakfast, Happier Hour/snack & late night; access to expanded DSP marketplaces; and new store formats which increase capacity for off-premise digital. In conclusion, Taco Bell’s brand relevancy is affirmed by a store-level EBITDAR margin which is highest among the $1B+ chains.