To those who miss the crunch of a cheap taco shell between their teeth and fillings that test the definition of “meat”; your prayers have been answered.
Yum! Brands unveiled that its subsidiary, Taco Bell, would be re-entering the Chinese market. CEO Robert Creed announced plans to open a store in China by the end of the year, according to CNN.
Nearly eight years have passed since Taco Bell last called China home. In 2008, a Yum! spokesperson announced the closing of Shanghai’s two Taco Bell Grande locations in Gubei and People’s Square as well as two outlets in Shenzhen.
Taco Bell’s previous performance in China starkly contrasts with Yum! Brands’ Chinese breadwinners, KFC and Pizza Hut. Perhaps in preparation for Taco Bell’s revival, the fast food company announced that the newly formed Yum China would run operations on the mainland, a catalog of over 7,000 restaurants. With a predominantly Chinese management team, Yum! seems to have a better approach at appealing to the Chinese palate.
Despite previous scandals over using expired meat in 2014 and rumors of 8-legged chickens, Creed says Yum! plans to open over 1,000 outlets around the world by 2020 to take their fast food trifecta to the level of “global iconic brands,” even opening Tibet’s first ever KFC earlier this month.
This ambitious plan may soon even have baozi-loving President Xi Jinping thinking outside the (steamed) bun.
By Matthew Patel