In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Inside Taco Bell's 50-store expansion strategy

Find out how they plan to get a bigger share in the Australian market's Mexican food segment.

Last year marked Taco Bell’s third attempt in entering the Australian market with their outlet in Annerley, Queensland. This year, they recently announced that they will be rolling out an expansion plan to launch 50 more sites in three years nationwide.

The said reason behind the three-year plan, is the “tremendous enthusiasm” that is seen on their Annerley outlet.

“The popularity of the restaurant here confirms South East Queensland as a strong growth pipeline for the brand,” a spokesperson from Taco Bell told QSR Media.

The first time the brand entered the market was in the 1980s, but was deemed unsuccessful. They tried to launch the brand again in 1997, but closed their last store in 2005. Then for the third time around, they opened a site in Annerley last November 2017.

In an interview with their International president Liz Williams last June, she said that some markets “weren't ready” for them as there were people who had no idea how to eat a taco. And now, she said, Aussies are getting more familiar with Mexican food.

“It has always been our plan to open additional restaurants, and the response from Taco Bell’s Australian fans over the past year has given us the confidence that the Australian market is hungry for more,” their spokesperson said.

They have also noted that Queensland mirrors Southern California where they originated, which is said to be in terms of its lifestyle, climate and personality. And with the warm responses they got from customers, they have decided to focus on South East Queensland.

Visibility, accessibility, size, fan presence and making sure that it has the right fit for the brand are what they’re looking for as their next location.

These 50 new sites, he promises, will continue to have the “Cali-cool convenience” that they have always injected into their stores worldwide while making sure that its environment suits the locals.

“Our elevated in-restaurant experience is also unique to Taco Bell, with open kitchens (both from our dining area and through our Drive-Thru), customer-curated playlists, free WIFI, craft beer and frozen margarita offering, and regular live music.”

In attracting more customers, he also said that Taco Bell will continue to surprise their fans such as giving away limited-edition merchandise and throwing restaurant parties.

“As Taco Bell grows in Australia, fans can look forward to more of Taco Bell’s world-famous signature menu items,” their spokesman assured.

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