Taco Bell, operated by Yum! Brands, has made a significant name for itself as the largest taco and burrito chain in the world. The quick service restaurant franchise has grown to dominate the market for Mexican-inspired fast food through a strategy of low prices, creative promotions, constant menu experimentation, and, in recent years, its irreverent social media presence. Taco Bell serves 42 million customers each week through 7,000 restaurants across the globe, approximately 90% of which are franchised.
After leaving the Marine Corps at 23, Glen Bell came home to San Bernardino, California and opened a hot dog stand. But his real interest was in alternative menu items, so he began selling tacos for 19 cents from a side window of the hot dog stand. When the tacos proved as popular as he had hoped, he started opening Taco Tia stands where tacos were the stars of the menu. In 1962, Bell sold the Taco Tia brand to his partners and opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California. Franchising began two years later.Today, Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc., which also franchises KFC and Pizza Hut. There are Taco Bell locations throughout the United States and the world.