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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#1 Ranked #1 last year
- Initial investment
$576K - $3.4M
- Units as of 2022
7,900 10.7% over 3 years
From a hot chalupa to their signature sauce, Taco Bell is the largest purveyor of Mexican cuisine in the world. As one of the top quick-service restaurant franchises, Taco Bell is known for serving Mexican-style food quickly and at a low price. You can get their tasty tacos at over 7,000 locations across 30 different countries.
Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., which also owns several other recognizable franchises. Yum! Brands Inc. operates over 43,000 restaurant locations across 135 nations and territories.
Taco Bell was founded in 1962 and began franchising two years later. It has since grown into one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
Why You May Want to Open a Taco Bell Franchise
Taco Bell may be one of the best franchises to own. To qualify to open a Taco Bell franchise, you need to meet the company’s minimum net worth and liquid capital requirements. You should also prepare yourself for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you need not forget about ongoing fees that will include royalty and advertising fees.
What May Make a Taco Bell Franchise a Good Choice?
Taco Bell has been ranked near the top of Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list many times in recent decades. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.
Taco Bell is one of the most popular and recognizable brands in the U.S., which means that you may have a leg up on the competition. They're also aggressively expanding into the global market, which may create a great opportunity for entrepreneurs around the world to open a Taco Bell franchise close to home. Whether you live in or outside of the U.S., Taco Bell may be one of the best franchise organizations to open.
How Do You Open a Taco Bell Franchise?
First, you have to submit your application. If you're approved, then you'll participate in the Taco Bell franchise training program. This program will likely take several weeks. After that, they will begin construction on the new building. Taco Bell locations can require multiple months to complete construction.
Once your Taco Bell franchise location is ready to go, you'll be responsible for ensuring everything runs smoothly leading up to the opening of the restaurant. You can hire a manager to handle these duties, but if you decide to manage it yourself, one of the most important steps is staffing your restaurant.
Taco Bell may be easy to hire for. Because of this, many of your employees are likely to be young and new to the workforce. With the caveat that ages differ in some states, you can hire employees as young as 16 in most places in the U.S. After hiring some staff, you can begin preparing for your grand opening.
And that's it! Taco Bell strives to make opening a new franchise as seamless as possible. Once you have your restaurant staffed and open for business, you can proudly call yourself the owner of a brand new Taco Bell franchise.
About Taco Bell
- Franchising Since
- 1964 (59 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Middle East, Europe (Eastern), Europe (Western), Central America, Canada, South America
- # of Units
- 7,900 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Taco Bell franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
- $25,000 - $45,000
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $575,600 - $3,370,100
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 25 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Taco Bell has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 400 hours
- Classroom Training
- 8 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Taco Bell? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Taco Bell landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Taco Bell ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #1 in 2023
Franchise 500 Ranking
Ranked #21 in 2022
Ranked #5 in 2022
Top Global Franchises
Ranked #23 in 2022
Fastest-Growing Franchises (U.S. & Canada)
Ranked #1 in Mexican Food in 2021
Best of the Best
Ranked #1 in Mexican Food in 2022
Top Food Franchises
Ranked #1 in 2023
#1 in Mexican Food Category
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