Taco Bell Booze: Yum! Brands Adding Alcoholic Beverages To Menu, Comes Out Of Shell?

This summer, you will have the option to wash that Chalupa down at Taco Bell with some beer or a glass of Merlot. You heard it right, the taco fast food giant is adding booze to its menu at a Chicago restaurant. According to the Tribune, alcoholic beverages there are just the beginning of its long-term plans for expansion.

The Mexican-inspired eatery is on a tear. Taco Bell has already announced a number of initiatives to offer healthier food selections. Officials say by the end of 2015, the operation will have eliminated trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors in 95 percent of its locations across the United States.

Taco Bell’s addition of booze to the Wicker Park location comes on the heels of its introduction to overseas locations. You can find alcoholic beverage choices on menus in Japan, South Korea and Spain.

Yum! Brands, which owns and operates Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, said the location implementing its booze strategy is undergoing a makeover to feature its new urban design. Diners can enjoy exposed brick, communal tables and brilliant colors throughout.

“This design is focused on simplifying and modernizing the restaurant experience.”

Adding alcohol and spirits makes perfect sense on a number of fronts. Millennials are demanding more eclectic choices, which is guiding the types of products and services offered today. Taco Bell is known for its traditional late-night hours, which plays into those wanting to indulge on more than tea and soda.

Booze purists can now bask in the glory of having more to choose from in Taco Bell’s repertoire. Like many other competitors, there’s always the chance a new product or practice will come in and out of vogue. But many are counting on the success of the test phase in Chi-Town.

Taco Bell’s addition of booze to its menu sounds like a novel idea. However, it is likely one rooted in strategy to tap into a market that is largely under-served in the fast food industry.

Using Starbucks as an example, the coffee giant disrupted its genre in the latter part of 2010 when it announced one of its stores was introducing “liquid courage,” a concoction of coffee and liqueur.

Then in 2012, the company began testing several stores with beer and wine additions, according to previous Inquisitr reporting. Today, the menu in many more stores across the country could include booze soon. A glass of Riesling and a warm apple tart pastry doesn’t sound like a bad idea, right?

Other concepts like Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Sbarro, Shake Shake and Qdoba have integrated alcohol into menus as well. But will Taco Bell loose with booze?

[Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images]

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