IRVINE, CA - The last several years haven’t been good for Taco Bell. There was the E. Coli outbreak in 2006, the salmonella illnesses in 2012 and the accusation that the fast-food chain’s beef is barely beef. (Taco Bell strongly denies this.) So, understandably, the restaurant is gearing up for a total makeover.
Brian Niccol, the president of Irvine-based Taco Bell, announced late last night that he and Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ have agreed on terms of an agreement that would license the use of the Kogi name as well as the recipes from the founder of the gourmet food truck industry.
Starting April 17th, Taco Bell will begin a national rollout of a much-hyped new menu item: the Kogi Short Rib Taco. It’s aptly named, because instead of just your everyday taco, the Kogi Taco has a filling that none of their other products have; Korean style beef short rib.
The Original Kogi BBQ beef short rib taco is housed in warm corn tortillas and carry a perfect mix of Korean BBQ, dressed with a wonderfully fresh cabbage-based slaw. With Choi’s help, Taco Bell has perfected the combination and is ready to unleash it on the country.
The partnership is two years in the making, and many people in the industry are expecting it to be an enormous hit. Along with the new taco, Taco Bell is attempting something it’s tried and failed in the past: food trucks.
“Roy has shown us how to do it right. He has shown the systems we need to have in place to bring Taco Bell food trucks to every region of the county.” Niccol stated.
The Taco Bell food trucks will be hitting the streets with the Kogi BBQ Taco on April 17th in the following cities:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
Considering the sweeping changes the 5,600-unit chain is undertaking, it will also soon roll out a new slogan. Say goodbye to “Think outside the bun” and welcome in “Live Mas.” Mas is Spanish for “more,” and it evokes the rather popular “Yo quiero Taco Bell” that the fast-food chain successfully used along with their recognizable talking Chihuahua. It’s a move to make customers think of Taco Bell as a lifestyle choice rather than just a place to pick up a cheap taco. Taco Bell is hoping that the new slogan, as well as its series of bold moves, will translate into customers visiting and spending mas as well.