Taco Bell is an American chain of fast food restaurants based in Irvine, California and a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. The restaurants serve a variety of Mexican inspired foods that include tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, novelty and specialty items, and a variety of "value menu" items. As of 2018, Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year at 7,072 restaurants, more than 93 percent of which are owned and operated by independent franchisees and licensees.
Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell, an entrepreneur who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell's Drive-In in San Bernardino, California in 1948. Bell watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant called the Mitla Cafe, located across the street, which became famous among residents for its hard-shelled tacos. Bell attempted to reverse-engineer the recipe, and eventually the owners allowed him to see how the tacos were made. He took what he had learned and opened a new stand under the name of Taco-Tia in late 1951 or early 1952, which sold tacos.
Eventually over the years, Bell owned and operated a number of El Taco restaurants in southern California. Bell would sell the El Tacos to his partner and built the first Taco Bell in Downey in 1962. The first Taco Bell franchise opened in Torrance in 1964, and by 1967, the company rapidly expanded, opening its 100th restaurant in the same year.
PepsiCo purchased Taco Bell in 1978, and later spun off its restaurants division as Tricon Global Restaurants, which later changed its name to Yum! Brands....read more