The continued spread of the wave of globalization has pushed companies to expand into new territories. With a surge in social media, organizations are now leveraging the access to millions of individuals online to determine their potential in new markets. Taco Bell has been rather successful in the United States, but as it continues to expand in Europe, there is need to evaluate its potential opportunities alongside risks.
Based on the reading provided, Taco Bell is re-establishing its presence in the United Kingdom. Burke (2018) explained that Taco Bell had opened up branches in the U.K. in the 1980s, but the reception was not positive. By the 1990s, the British did not appreciate the brand thereby forcing Taco Bell to close all of its branches in the country. The assessment is that Taco Bell will likely operate in an environment where there is growing appreciation for Mexican food in Britain. Burke (2018) further noted that unlike in the United States, millennials enjoy sitting down and drinking a beer while they eat burritos and churros. The idea in mind is that Taco Bell will be able to cater for the diversified needs of such consumers.
Brexit is likely to influence Taco Bell’s operations. Burke (2018) noted that the company’s earnings are listed in dollars which means that the volatile value of the pound will bring about challenges.
Despite Brexit and its potentially negative impact on Taco Bell, there is an economic opportunity. Burke (2018) explained that Mexican food has now become high profile in Europe which means that there is already existing demand for burritos and churros among other products.
From a social perspective, Burke (2018) noted that millennials are a potentially reliable target. In the U.K. food will be served in open plates as consumers are more willing to sit down and have a beer.
Taco Bell is looking to leverage the advantages of social networking. The general manager, Jorge Torres, stated that social media has allowed for an assessment of demand for Taco Bell in the U.K. making it easier to determine in which locations to set up (Burke, 2018).
The market approach for Taco Bell largely depends on the growing demand for Mexican food in Britain. Torres is likely focusing on taking advantage of the high-profile nature of burritos and churros in the European market. For instance, Mexican food is already on high demand in Spain which has over 50 locations (Burke, 2018). That being the case, Taco Bell will focus to develop such kind of impact in Britain. Furthermore, the franchise seeks to connect with consumers through providing a unique experience. Burke (2018) stated that in the U.K., Taco Bell invites customers with a beer dispenser at the counter. The idea is to lure consumers and make them want to sit and have their food while having beer. The company is leveraging the advantages of such a culture.
Taco Bell’s strengths are evident in that Mexican food is already high-profile in Europe. That being the case, the company has an already existing market to satisfy. However, the gradual acceptance of Mexican food in the U.K. is a major challenge for the company. Thus, while Mexican food is diverse, that qualifies as one of the major weaknesses for the franchise. One particular major opportunity is that millennials are likely to push for greater demand for Taco Bell in other regions across Britain (Hoffman, 2017). Unlike it was the case in the 1990s, the 21st century appears promising and will accommodate Mexican food in Britain. Nevertheless, a major threat that Torres has acknowledged revolves around the uncertainty of Brexit and its potential impact on the business.
Problem and Alternatives
Burke (2018) stated that Taco Bell’s major problem is mainly about the political uncertainty in Britain regarding Brexit. However, Torres, the general manager, confirmed that that was not a cause for concern for the franchise. The major challenge is having a high-profile status in the English capital (Burke, 2018). In the United Kingdom alone, Taco Bell targets to have at least 30 branches by 2022. In order to achieve the said target, the franchise needs to invest in marketing to create brand awareness in London.
Analysis of Alternatives
Compared to other fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC, Taco Bell is looking to have a firm presence in Britain. A potential way to achieve such kind of a status is through continued investment in marketing (Hoffman, 2017). Another potentially effective approach could be diversifying the Mexican food such that it blends with some of the local foods. Hence, the idea is to integrate the English culture thereby attracting an even higher body of consumers. It is unlikely that British consumers will say they do not want Taco Bell as was the case during the 1990s.
Competitive Advantage and Implementation
Burke (2018) gave a comprehensive overview of Taco Bell’s position in the English capital. The information given exposes one to various alternatives one being taking advantage of the high-profile nature of Mexican foods in Europe. Thus, from the alternatives mentioned earlier, Taco Bell could create a hybrid food culture merging both English and Mexican foods. The idea is to attract a wider body of consumers. Through such a strategy, Taco Bell is likely to experience growing influence in the coming years. The target of having 30 branches by 2022 might actually be surpassed.
- Burke, S. (2018, November 26). Taco Bell luring Londoners with beer. CNN. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/23/business/taco-bell-uk/index.html
- Hoffman, D. (2017). New media’s impact on the fast food industry: A comparative study of Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A. Souther Illinois University Carbondale.