Taco Bell Adds Unique Take on Comfort Food to Its Permanent Menu

Taco Bell could write its menu on a dry-erase board. 

The chain changes its special offers so often that you can excuse customers who may not know which of their favorites can be ordered at any given time.

The process is both exciting and confusing. When you visit the Yum Brands (YUM) – Get Free Report chain, you may not know whether what you ordered last time will still be available. And on the positive side, you also don’t know whether Taco Bell will have added something new or brought back an old favorite.

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Taco Bell rotates a huge roster of limited-time-offers. Some come back at roughly the same time each year while others might disappear for years before they reappear.

In addition, Taco Bell on rare occasions takes a  limited-time offer and adds it to its permanent menu. Now, permanent is relative, but it’s a change the chain rarely makes, so when it happens, it’s a big deal.

Now, Taco Bell has surprisingly added a recent limited-time offer to its permanent menu.

Taco Bell changes its menu seemingly every week.

Image source: Shutterstock

Taco Bell Makes a Newer Item Permanent

Fast food sells well partly because it’s cheap and convenient and partly because it’s comforting. Few people think McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report or Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Free Report offers the best hamburger, but they offer a familiar experience.

When you visit one of those chains you know exactly what you’re going to get. That’s actually why it’s hard for McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, or any other chain to broadly expand its menu. A burger chain could, in theory, add meatloaf or grilled cheese, but efforts in those directions have rarely been successful.

That’s why a number of attempts for burger chains to offer hot dogs have failed. A hot dog is comfort food, but it’s associated with barbecues and ballparks, not fast-food chains.

It’s a very tricky balance, and  Taco Bell has handled it well. When the chain adds a new menu item, it generally brings new flavors in ways that incorporate familiar tastes. That’s why Nacho Fries worked so well, for example, They used nacho cheese and familiar spices to make a burger chain favorite a Taco Bell staple.

Now, Taco Bell has decided to make another one of its unique takes on a comfort food classic a permanent menu item.  

“Originally introduced back in 2020 as a limited-time menu offering, the Grilled Cheese Burrito features seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, seasoned rice, fiesta strips, creamy chipotle sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, and three-cheese blend wrapped inside a warm flour tortilla, with even more three-cheese blend grilled on the top,” Chewboom reported.

Yum Brands Chief Executive David Gibbs specifically cited the Grilled Cheese Burrito as a success during his company’s first-quarter-earnings call. The chain had brought back the item as a limited-time offer during the quarter.

“This quarter, Taco Bell created customer buzz around crave-able product offerings that included the Crispy Melt Taco and the Grilled Cheese Burrito while still providing everyday value through $2 burritos on the Cravings Value Menu,” he said. 

“Strong demand for the Grilled Cheese Burrito is a fantastic example that proves Taco Bell can win in the big burrito category and participate in higher price points while maintaining value leadership.”

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