Taco Bell introduces global sustainable packaging commitments and U.S. employee programs
Irvine, CA (RestaurantNews.com) Taco Bell has made bold commitments to set itself apart ever since its first restaurant opened in 1962 and 2020 is no different. Among the most notable of the new commitments, the brand is making all consumer-facing packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025 worldwide. Taco Bell will be offering paid sick time for all corporate-owned restaurant employees, plans to test a $100,000 salary for managers of company-owned restaurants in select markets, and will continue to champion easy and accessible vegetarian options around the world.
“It’s no secret that Taco Bell marches to the beat of its own drum, and we provide our fans with unexpected experiences year after year. From the Doritos®? Locos Taco to the Taco Bell Hotel, we want to continue to lead in creativity on our menus, in our restaurants and beyond,” said Mark King, Taco Bell CEO. “As Taco Bell expands its footprint, our responsibility to drive positive impact increases. Our business growth in the last decade has positioned us to create change for good and implement creative solutions for our planet, our people and our food. We’re excited to shake things up and make 2020 even more about what matters most: our purpose.”
These new commitments continue the trend of purpose-focused innovation at Taco Bell over the last decade, from becoming one of the first fast food chains to post full nutrition information online and serve cage-free eggs certified by American Humane, to supporting restaurant team members with education benefits and the opportunity to receive Live Más Scholarships granted by the Taco Bell Foundation. Taco Bell most recently committed to simpler, higher quality ingredients and more U.S. jobs, and worked throughout 2019 to reduce antibiotics important to human health in its beef and launch a national vegetarian menu. The brand is also innovating in recruitment initiatives with its Hiring Parties campaign, which resulted in a 66% increase in new hires for participating restaurants.
2020 will continue this momentum with even more innovative, impactful pledges to purpose-led efforts throughout the coming year. This year, Taco Bell is committing to:
- Make all consumer-facing packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable.
By 2025, in Taco Bell restaurants across the globe, the brand aims to make all consumer-facing packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable. Recycling and/or composting bins will be added to all restaurants, where infrastructure permits, and PFAS, Phthalates and BPA will be removed from all consumer-facing packaging materials.
- Continue to invest in its people, building leaders at all levels.
Whether employees want to grow to run a $2 million business and oversee a team of 30 people or want to be the best team member they can be, Taco Bell offers something for everyone. Later this year, the brand will be testing a $100,000 annual salary for Restaurant General Managers of company-owned restaurants in select locations. For those who may not want to be in a manager role, the brand is introducing “Makers,” a program for restaurant team members who want to elevate their passion for the brand and want leadership experience. Additionally, starting January 1, 2020, all nationwide company employees can become eligible to receive at least 24 hours of paid sick time per calendar year. Through these initiatives, Taco Bell aims to enhance restaurant performance, employee satisfaction and support recruitment and retention.
- Increase education support for fans and team members to keep pursuing their passions.
The Taco Bell Foundation is awarding $6 million in Live Más Scholarships in 2020 to help fans and team members pursue their unique passions. This year’s awards will bring the Taco Bell Foundation to $17 million in total awarded scholarships since it first launched five years ago, well on schedule to meet its initial commitment of awarding $21 million by 2021. Those interested in applying should submit a two-minute video about their passion before January 23, 2020.
- Strive to be the number one QSR for vegetarians.
Taco Bell has always been a haven for vegetarians. After last year’s dedicated vegetarian menu with American Vegetarian Association certified items* launched nationally with new favorites like the Black Bean Crunchwrap, Taco Bell vows to continue providing the most vegetarian choices as well as find ways to make it even easier to order them, whether that’s on the app, in the restaurant or through the drive thru.
As a leader in the quick-service restaurant industry, Taco Bell is proud of the work it has done to date and the opportunities ahead for its planet, people and food. The brand will provide updates on progress throughout the year as it introduces sustainable packaging to restaurants, continues investing in its people and develops new vegetarian options for fans.
* American Vegetarian Association certified Vegetarian food items, are lacto-ovo, allowing consumption of dairy and eggs but not animal byproducts. Vegetarian and meat ingredients are handled in common, and cross contact may occur, which may not be acceptable to certain types of vegetarian diets. Neither Taco Bell, our employees, franchisees nor the AVA assume any responsibility for such cross contact.