Taco Bell is an American chain of fast food restaurants based out of Irvine, California and a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. The restaurants serve a variety of Tex-Mex foods that include tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, novelty and specialty items, and a variety of “value menu” items. As of 2018, Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year at 7,072 restaurants, more than 93 percent of which are owned and operated by independent franchisees and licensees.
Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell, an entrepreneur who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino, California in 1948. Bell watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant called the Mitla Cafe, located across the street, which became famous among residents for its hard-shelled tacos. Bell attempted to reverse-engineer the recipe, and eventually the owners allowed him to see how the tacos were made. He took what he had learned and opened a new stand under the name of Taco-Tia in late 1951 or early 1952, which sold tacos.
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