In Focus
FRANCHISING | Kevin Santos, Australia

Taco Bell is hoping that the third time's the charm in Australia

International president Liz Williams says the "more mature" Australian market is now ready for the global brand.

After a couple of attempts to kickstart their presence in the country, the popular, youthful brand intends to stay after finding recent success with a clearer and more deliberate strategy.

“Years ago, when we went into some markets – the markets weren't ready for us. And they weren’t ready for Mexican-inspired or the Mexican category in general. It was too niche. People didn't know how to eat a taco. We still see this in markets today," Taco Bell international president Liz Williams said in an exclusive interview with QSR Media.

Aside from a clearer strategy, Williams said a more mature market that was open to different food types also made a difference this time. “Today, you go into a market like Australia - the Mexican category is well-defined and well-loved and so I think that’s has been the #1 differentiator from years ago when we did it."

Williams also cites Taco Bell’s local franchise partner Collins Foods and its regional team for bringing the “perfect expression” of the brand in the market.

“I think that clarity [in the brand strategy] is going to make a difference this time,” she remarked.

The U.S.-based brand also sees potential in their international market for a thousand units over the next couple of years. But despite their master plan of global aggressive expansion, Williams says they are in no rush – emphasising the need for proper partnerships.

“[We’re] taking time to go to the market in the Taco Bell way. It’s easy to do that because you see so much opportunities. Taking the time to find the right partner, getting the right site are really important, and getting the scale. It takes time to go under the market and get the partnership and to have that scale.”

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