Last last year, US Tex-Mex chain Taco Bell quietly opened a test store in Annerley, Brisbane. Now, it's planning to rapidly expand across Australia with a slew of new stores.
Taco Bell's parent company Collins Foods, which also operates 28 Aussie KFC restaurants and the 13 remaining Sizzler venues, announced last week that after receiving positive feedback from its test store, it would be opening more Taco Bell outposts before the end of the year.
Managing Director and CEO Graham Maxwell suggested locals have embraced the brand wholeheartedly. "We are pleased with the acceptance of the Taco Bell brand by Australian consumers," he explained.
This is, however, Taco Bell's third attempted foray into the Australian market. The chain tried to launch here in 1981 (and was then taken to court by Sydney store Taco Bell's Casa) and again in 1997 — but both attempts were unsuccessful and the brand withdrew.
As part of Collins Foods' expansion, Real Commercialreported that the company would be rebranding its Sizzler restaurants as Taco Bells, as the US fast food giant makes its most-recent attempt at taking on the Aussie market. In the company's end-of-financial-year summary, it reported that its Sizzler restaurants were underperforming and one more had closed.
Currently, you'll find 13 Sizzler restaurants across Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, though it's unclear how many of these could soon be swapping the salad bar and cheese toast, for burritos and quesadillas.