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Taco Bell plans to open 50 NYC locations in the next five years

These include restaurants in Greenwich Village near New York University, Time Square area, Prospect Park South, Bed-Stuy and Corona, Queens.

New Yorkers will have more access to quick tacos and quesidillas, as Taco Bell has revealed plans to open at least 50 more restaurants by 2022.

The fast-food franchise said that five of these NYC locations will open next year.

These include restaurants in Greenwich Village near New York University, Time Square area, Prospect Park South, Bed-Stuy and Corona, Queens.

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They will all serve alcohol except the location in Queens. "The concept doesn't really need alcohol to be successful," says CEO Mike Grams. "It's simply another layer to appeal to consumers who want it."

The move comes as a huge change to Taco Bell’s typical business model.

Taco Bell usually targets suburban areas, with 55 to 70% of the company's revenue coming from drive-through purchases.

However, in the last few years, the restaurant-chain has also begun targeting urban areas, finding that urban stores get just as much foot traffic and customers that suburban drive-throughs.

The NYC stores will have the same menu as the typical Taco Bell, with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night dining options. The new NYC stores are likely to feature some new additions to the menu which are specific to the region, as well as interiors designed by local artists.

All of the NYC stores are at least 1,000 -square-feet and are located where there is “more space and opportunity,” CEO Grams said.

Taco Bell is owned by the company Yum Brands which also owns fast-food chains such as KFC and Pizza Hut.  

The NYC expansion comes as part of a larger move by the company to grow its presence.

Currently, Taco Bell operates over 6,650 restaurants in 23 countries. However, the brand aims to run 9,000 restaurants, in the next five years, in more than 40 countries. This expansion will lead to the creation of 100,000 new jobs in the US alone.

CEO Grams said that the company has more national recognition than ever and that the new locations are a promising market for the franchise. “We’re going in head first,” Grams said.

Read the September issue of Business Review Canada for an exclusive interview with Yum Brands