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Should You Buy a Taco Bell Franchise? (2023)

taco bell franchise

(Pictured: A Taco Bell Franchise)

Wouldn’t it be great to own a business that has willing-to-wait-in-line decision-makers who have their wallets out?

Of course it would, and for franchise owners, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

That said, you do have to select the best location possible.

Not the 2nd best location. The best one. The one that’s usually more expensive to secure. That way, your franchise business looks like the Taco Bell franchise pictured above, with a high vehicle count.

With that in mind, let’s get into the food franchise opportunity I’m referring to in this post.

Taco Bell®.

First Off: How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Taco Bell Franchise?

If you’re thinking of becoming a Taco Bell owner, you need to know what the cost of a Taco Bell franchise is.

Brace yourself; Taco Bell is an expensive food franchise to own.

Specifically, your initial investment will range from $525,100 – $2,622,400. But know this:

Taco Bell has a mind-numbing 70% market share in the Mexican quick service franchise segment.

With that in mind, do you qualify to become a Taco Bell franchisee? Let’s find out.

Taco Bell Owners’ Franchise Requirements (Financial)

If you have a net worth of $1,500,000, access to $750,000 of liquid cash, and live in an area that Taco Bell is looking to expand in, you do. And now is the time to pull the trigger. But why? 3 Reasons.

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Update: Taco Bell, because they serve food and offer delivery and a drive-thru window, are deemed to be an essential business. So let’s call that reason #4 (for buying this fast food franchise).

Why should you buy a Taco Bell?

1. Steady customer traffic. Scroll up and look at the image at the beginning of this post. Do you see the vehicles driving by? Good. And the ones in the parking lot? Great. Now let’s add the cars and trucks you can’t see that are in the Taco Bell drive-through lane. Are you starting to “see” what I’m getting at? There are always customers!
In a nutshell, when you’re a Taco Bell restaurant franchise owner, you’re operating a business with steady customer traffic. I’m talking about customers who are dining in, taking their food to-go, ordering from the drive-thru or ordering online for delivery. That means you have multiple streams of revenue coming in all day.

2. Mexican food is hot.
According to Upserve Restaurant Insider, 1 out of 10 restaurants offer Mexican food. That’s huge! In addition, 4.5 billion tacos were consumed. (2016)

3. Revenue is up
A fast food franchise that’s open and busy 7 days a week is going to have great numbers. And Taco Bell does.

In fact, according to Statista, Taco Bell’s average sales per unit reached approximately $1.5 million in 2017. Better yet, Taco Bell turned in same-store sales growth of 6 percent in Q4 (2018), year-over-year-its best in seven quarters, or nearly two years. And they just hired a new CEO.

Who Owns Taco Bell?

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, owns Taco Bell.

In addition, Yum! Brands owns KFC and Pizza Hut.

Combined, the food service company owns 54,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories.

Taco Bell News Updates

Taco Bell Announces New “Defy” Store Design

The new store design is coming from Taco bell. Named Taco Bell Defy, it’s expected to be the fastest way ever to get Taco Bell – from cruising into any of its four lanes, to checking in and grabbing your Taco Bell favorites. – it’s the frictionless future of Taco Bell. Read more about Defy

More News

Taco Bell is merging technological advancements, innovative operations and a people-first approach into its most modern Taco Bell restaurant franchising expression yet. It’s a new offering called “Taco Bell Go Mobile.” It includes:

1. Dual Drive-Thru: The new concepts will have two drive-thru lanes including a new priority pick-up lane with rapid service for customers who order via the Taco Bell app. This new lane will supplement the existing, traditional lane.

2. Synchronized Digital Experience: it’s powered by smart kitchen technology that’s integrated with the Taco Bell app.

3. Curbside Pick-Up: Taco Bell Go Mobile customers will have the option to receive their order via contactless curbside pick-up, another convenient alternative that modern consumers are looking for.

Look for it in 2021!

What Today’s Consumers Want From Taco Bell Franchisees

In addition to the popularity of Mexican food, there’s something else worth noting.

It’s the lack of time today’s consumers have. As in not enough of it. That means of lot of consumers…your customers, tend to opt for convenience. And fast food franchises are the king’s of convenience. That’s why you’ll find a lot of fast food franchises for sale on franchise portals.

“Wait, Joel. Aren’t people eating healthier?”

Yes and no.

While there’s no question consumers say they want to eat healthier foods, they can’t always do so. It really depends on where they are location-wise when they’re hungry.

For example, when I’m running around doing errands…basic life stuff…and I’m hungry, the part of the city I’m in almost always dictates what I’m going to eat. Furthermore, the ease of entering a fast food establishment is a major part of my decision.

Case in point: if I’m attempting to choose between McDonald’s or Taco Bell, unless I’m obsessed with a specific menu item that I must have it now, I’ll almost always opt for the establishment that’s easier to enter and/or exit via car. Can you relate?


Note: Taco Bell, for awhile, was known as the go-to place for late-night partiers. Not anymore. Now, it’s quickly becoming known as a place that serves high-quality fast food.

As a matter of fact, I recently visited the newly-opened Taco Bell restaurant located about a mile or so from The Castle. I ordered a chicken burrito, and a soft taco. Both were very good, and I experienced no intestinal issues.

Franchise Profits For taco bell Owners

When it comes to the profit side of a fast food franchise business, figure on making 5-8% of your revenue.

So, if you’re fast food franchise business is doing $1.5 million in sales annually, you should be able to pocket $100k-120k.

Of course a large percentage of fast food franchise owners own more than one franchise. So if you own 3 Taco Bell franchises, you should be able to make over a quarter of a million dollars a year. And don’t forget the tax advantages that most small business owners enjoy. (Talk to your accountant before you go on owning a Taco Bell.)

Important! You don’t have to believe my figures. That’s because franchisees will give you their own numbers. But you need to know how to ask them for their financials. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Learn The Right Way Here

Solid Reasons For Owning A Taco Bell

The upshot of all this is I just gave you 3 solid reasons to buy a Taco Bell franchise right now.

Do you feel those reasons are compelling enough?

Have you visited a Taco Bell restaurant lately?

Maybe you should.

If you want to buy a Taco Bell franchise, fill this form out

An Observation

Finally, I do have one concern about owning a Taco Bell, and it has to do with store design.

So, the location I visited was brand new. It was built from the ground-up…a hefty initial investment, I’m sure.

On a positive note, the building’s exterior has an upscale feel to it.

But when I went inside, the interior didn’t have the same upscale feeling.

For one, it was a lot smaller inside than I thought it would be.

Secondly, and you may think this is weird, the way the inside was set up, it felt like a different brand than was portrayed on the outside. Something was missing. Maybe it was the small, narrow walk-up ordering area. It needs to be wider. Moreover, there needs to be more terminals. I think I only saw two of them. That makes the restaurant look low-volume. Is it because customers aren’t coming inside to order?

Given these points, what do you think about Taco Bell?

Taco Bell Franchise FAQ’s

How much does a Taco Bell franchise cost?

The initial investment for a Taco Bell franchise is $525,100 – $2,622,400.

How many Taco Bell restaurants are there?

Taco Bell and their 350+ franchise organizations operate over 7,000 restaurants.

How much money do Taco Bell owners (franchisees) make?

Statista, in 2017, said that average sales per unit stood at $1.5 million. Individual franchisee earnings depend on several factors including rent, payroll, and other expenses. Best way to find out how much franchisees make is to contact them as part of your franchise research.

What is Taco Bell Defy?

It’s a brand-new Taco Bell store design with a 4-lane contactless drive-thru.

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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes. For over 20 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

“I've been a fan of Joel's for years. He's picked a niche and made himself the undisputed expert. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to start a franchise. "
- Gene Marks, Business Expert, Keynote Speaker
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