Taco Bell wants to be more than ‘food as fuel’

Glenda King, a 58-year-old college administrative assistant, used to frequent a Taco Bell near the University of Louisville “at least twice a week” — but that was before a Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurant opened nearby.

“That’s why I quit eating here so much,” King said as she ate a Fiesta Taco Salad inside the Taco Bell on Cardinal Boulevard, near U of L’s Belknap Campus. “This is cheaper, but there’s no comparison to Qdoba Grilled Chicken Taco Salad. I really like Qdoba better.”

King’s experience encapsulates the challenge facing Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell chain, which must compete with fast-growing Mexican casual dining restaurants like Qdoba and Chipotle even as it tries to regain the sales lost from publicity surrounding a lawsuit early this year that claimed the filling in its tacos and burritos didn’t contain enough beef to be called that.

Continue reading . . .