EXPIRED: 01/17/10 – Glen Bell, 86, brought tacos to the American masses and 36.8 million customers a week thank him for it. I can’t speak for the people who sit next to those customers after lunch.

His restaurant, Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion tacos and 1 billion burritos in the US each year.

In 1948 Bell opened Bell’s Drive-In, in San Bernardino, California after studying the success of the nearby restaurant of the McDonald’s brothers.

Like McD’s he also served burgers to the car culture customers, but knew he needed to differentiate so he added take out tacos.

By ’55 they had 3 drive-thru Taco stands called Taco Tias. He sold that and opened a chain called El Tacos in ’58.

For a time he got sidetracked and opened a German-themed  drive-thru called Der Wienerschnitzel, which didn’t have the same ring (get it?) as his next venture.

A single Taco Bell restaurant became a reality in 1962, and by 1978 Bell sold his 868 Taco Bell restaurants to PepsiCo. Taco Bell is now owned by Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company.

After selling Taco Bell, he retired and built Bell Gardens, a 115-acre model produce farm and landscaped park that provides educational programs concerning the importance of agriculture and preservation of natural resources.

Maybe a class on nutritional guidance and how to reduce the carbon footprint of fast food chains should be on the agenda too?



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