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Taco Bell Wants to Be More than a Late-Night Spot as It Unveils New Menu Items for 2024 : 'A Rebel Brand at Our Core' We attended Taco Bell's inaugural Live Más LIVE! over Super Bowl weekend. It was as over-the-top as you'd expect.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

What does it really mean to Live Más?

That's what Taco Bell sought to answer during the fast-food behemoth's first-ever Live Más LIVE! in Las Vegas during Super Bowl LVIII weekend. The brand brought together superfans on social media, professional athletes, media, and longtime customers to unveil its new menu items, programs, and more.

"Live Más to me means go for it. Living Más is living your more, and when you live even more, you're unhinged, you're unbridled, you just go for it," Taco Bell CEO Sean Tresvant told Entrepreneur. "Whether that's in my personal life or that's in my business life, just the idea of just trying something and going for it is pretty cool."

Taco Bell CEO Sean Tresvant talks to the crowd at Live Más LIVE! (Taco Bell)

Taco Bell's secret sauce (and no, I'm not talking about the Diablo hot sauce) is that it's a master at garnering a cult-like following and creating a community beyond just stopping for a late-night bite — the fans are the brand.

Related: Why Taco Bell's New Boss Says He's 'Not the Dictionary Definition of a CEO'

"You have to love your customers, love your consumers — like, really love them," Taco Bell CMO Taylor Montgomery told Entrepreneur. "Think about it, it's like a relationship. When you're creating a brand, you have an obligation to create a relationship with your consumers, just like any other relationship — ask a lot of questions, you've got to listen and admit when you're wrong."

The event was live-streamed so viewers could see the new menu items, but some in-person attendees got to try them all— including me. It was worth it, and I have no regrets, especially not the already viral, giant Cheez-It Crunchwrap.

We talked to Taco Bell executives to see what comes next for the brand.

Yes, there will be a Crunchwrap on the menu with a giant Cheez-It inside

The Cheez-It Crunchwrap features all the regular Crunchwrap ingredients — seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream — plus a Cheez-It folded inside that is sixteen times the size of a regular Cheez-It cracker. Please try to envision that.

It was crunchy, cheesy, filling, and unexpectedly good. Only Taco Bell could pull this off.

The Cheez-It Crunchwrap in all its glory (Taco Bell)

Other new menu standouts include the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada (a cheesy chicken mixture cooked inside of crispy pastry dough that's reminiscent of a mini empanada), which hit stores on February 15, and the Tajín Crunchy Taco, a classic beef crispy taco with a shell smothered in Tajín.

Being rebellious is a good thing

Being a "rebel brand" has always been in Taco Bell's DNA, whether it's over-the-top menu items or unbeatable promotions — if the idea pops up, chances are the team will try it.

"Taco Bell has always been a brand who zigs when others are zagging and has always been a brand who's not afraid to take big swings," Tresvant said. "Don't be afraid to zig and zag."

Related: How to Open a Taco Bell Franchise

This leads to unexpected new partnerships, such as the company's upcoming collab with Salt & Straw ice cream, which is helping to launch the Ice Cream Chocolate Taco, and Disha Hot, musician Omar Apollo's family hot sauce recipe that is getting its own Taco Bell sauce packet.

New packets of Disha Hot hot sauce are slated to hit Taco Bell stores this year (Taco Bell)

Taco Bell doesn't want to just be your late-night spot

The brand also announced a new Cantina Chicken Menu featuring five items, including a Cantina Chicken Burrito and Cantina Chicken Bowl with slow-roasted chicken, reminiscent of the cooking style you'd see in a Mexican restaurant.

A look at the new Cantina Chicken Menu (Taco Bell)

"I do hope in 10 years from now that we do play a bigger role, a more consistent role in consumers' lives," Montgomery said. "There's no reason why you shouldn't come to Taco Bell for an evening snack, for lunch, for breakfast, for late night too. We can be all of those things. And so I hope that we just have a little bit of a deeper relationship with customers in the next few years."

Related: Taco Bell Uses This Little-Known Secret to Stay on Top Year After Year

For Tresvant, being more than a late-night joint goes even bigger — he wants to take Taco Bell global.

"Taco Bell like truly has incredible runway in the long run. I believe it can be a powerhouse global brand. Right now, we're just getting our feet wet in international," Tresvant says.

"We're going to start getting into different things like chicken nuggets and beverages and desserts," he added. "I think the future is very, very bright. And not all brands can say that but I truly believe for Taco Bell, we will be a global brand."

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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