The year is 2012, the same year that the world's largest chain of American-adapted Mexican food restaurants, Taco Bell, turns 50 years old. For the lot of us, we grew up with Taco Bell restaurants conveniently located wherever and whenever we needed them, but that wasn't always the case.
Now that 'lot of us' has a myriad of Mexican food options here in the States. Giving credit where credit is due, Taco Bell has a fair share in the claim that they brought Mexican food to the mainstream.
Their history is littered with innovation, and they've been around the block so many times their 50-year lifespan makes the brand 2 years older than Del Taco, and 31 years older than Chipotle.
Currently, the brand is spearheading their biggest product launch to date, their 'successful' Doritos Locos Taco. The new taco, a long with a bevy of new projects for the new year -- including a wide rollout of their FirstMeal breakfast menu -- marks a year of hopeful innovation and growth amidst a new influx of competitors in their space.
Taco Bell By The Numbers
So what does the world's largest purveyor of Mexican food look like by the numbers? Here are the latest figures:
- Taco Bell employs more than 150,000 team members.
- More than 35 million people are served Taco Bell across more than 5,600 restaurants nationwide each week.
- The average customer comes to Taco Bell every 11 days.
- Taco Bell serves about half the population of the United States at least once a month.
- Nearly 168 Million people see a Taco Bell commercial once a week -- more than half of the U.S. population.
- Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion tacos and 1 billion burritos every year.
- If you put all the menu items Taco Bell sells in one year end to end, it would stretch around the equator more than 22 times.
- Yearly, Taco Bell consumes a staggering amount of raw materials: 3.8 billion corn taco shells/flour tortillas, 105 million pounds of fresh lettuce, 47 million pounds of pinto beans, 288 million pounds of Seasoned Ground Beef and 111 million pounds of cheese.
- 6 percent of all the reduced fat sour cream produced in the US is consumed by Taco Bell.
- 8.5 Million Fans have connected with the brand over Facebook
- 175k follow Taco Bell on Twitter
We've teamed up with the awesome folks at Hack College to illustrate some of the staggering figures behind the Taco Bell operation: