Get All Access for $5/mo

Potential Franchisees, Take Note: Taco Bell Hopes to Open 2,000 U.S. Restaurants by 2023 Looking to own a franchise? Taco Bell is engaging in its most aggressive franchisee recruitment push in 15 years.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Taco Bell

Looking to open a franchise? You may want to consider Taco Bell, which plans to add 2,000 new restaurants in the U.S. in the next 10 years.

Hoping to up restaurants nationwide by 25 percent, Taco Bell aims to reach 8,000 domestic locations by 2023. Currently, the Irvine, Calif.-based chain has close to 6,000 units in the U.S, more than 4,600 of which are operated by franchisees.

"Based on our brand principles to help out fans and franchisees 'Live Más,' we're moving to a highly proactive recruitment approach and our first major franchising effort in more than 15 years," says Nicolas Boudet, Taco Bell's vice president of U.S. development and franchising.

The chain's 350 existing operators currently average roughly 20 units each. Thirty-five percent of franchisees have over 25 years of experience. However, recruitment could bring fresh blood and new growth to the Mexican restaurant.

Related: The Fall of a Franchise: Blockbuster and 5 Other Chains That Went Bust

Taco Bell is targeting specific cities and states for growth in the new recruiting push, actively looking to expand in the Central, Northeast and Southeast U.S. "In listening to our customers, they're asking us to expand into rural and suburban areas, so that's where we plan to focus our growth," says Boudet.

Taco Bell launched its first website devoted to franchisee recruitment in October. The extensive site attempts to engage prospective franchise-owners, as well as lay out Taco Bell's requirements for franchisees. The chain's ideal candidate has experience with multi-unit food or hospitality franchises, leadership experience and at least $1.5 million net worth and $750,000 in liquid assets.

In the third quarter, parent company Yum Brands reported gains of $53 million tied to its refranchising efforts in the U.S., primarily at Taco Bell. As of the end of September, Yum had refranchised 151 Taco Bell units in 2013, in addition to opening 68 new franchised Taco Bells.

Taco Bell has served as a bright spot for Yum's same-store sales, with 2-percent growth, compared to a 1-percent decline at Pizza Hut and a 4 percent decline at KFC. The taco chain has produced seven consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth.

Related: 6 Shocking Realizations About the Food at Your Favorite Chains

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.