Glen Bell: The Taco Bell Brand Story

I love to read about brands built by remarkable people.  Glen Bell, founder of Taco Bell,  is as remarkable as they get.

This is the inspirational story of how a man followed his dreams and built one of the world’s most iconic restaurant brands.

The Taco Bell Story in Pictures

glen bell as child with his sister
Glen Bell was born in 1923 in California (with his sister)
family moved to city springs
Glen was one of six children
glenn bell lived in a small house with his family.  he didn't like to talk about it
He lived in a small house with his poor family.
1935 - Glen Bell at 12 years old selling Gladiolas
In 1935 at age 12 Bell was selling Gladiolas to make ends meet.
on the way home - dumpster
At times, poverty forced Glen Bell to rummage through the dumpsters. This embarrassed him.
Glen Bell joins the Navy
In 1944 Glen Bell joined the Marines to fight in WWII
feeding the army
Working as a chef in the Marines taught Glen Bell how to estimate how much food to prepare, this would prove a worthwhile skill later in his career
When Glen came back from the Marines he had $1000 to start his food business
In 1946 Glen Bell came back from Military service. He had $1000 to start his food business.
Initially Glen Bell decides to open a Humburger store (Bell's Burgers)
Initially Glen Bell decided to open a Hamburger store (Bell's Burgers). He was competing head to head with McDonald's and many others. He decided to diversify...
then he discovered the Taco
that's when Glen discovered the Taco (Mexican food). This was still largely undiscovered in California.
after studying the method to create Tacos, he improved on it to make it more efficient
after studying the primitive method to create Tacos, he improved on it to make it more efficient
Grand opening of first Taco Bell
In 1962, Bell opened his first Taco Bell store in Downey California
A master marketeer, Bell hired a Mariachi group to play Mexican music outside his restaurant.  Needless to say this attracted attention  to his new venture (WOM marketing at its best!).
A master marketeer, Bell hired a Mariachi group to play Mexican music outside his restaurant. Needless to say, this attracted much needed attention to his new venture and associated his brand with Mexico. Genius!
When the Taco was first introduced to America on a commercial scale, Glen Bell had to educated customers how to eat it.  Sometimes doing it himself.
When the Taco was first introduced to America, Glen had to educated customers on how to eat it. At times doing it himself.
In 1965 Glen Bell sold his first Franchise paving the way to over 8000 stores (in the US alone) serving millions of customers everyday.  The rest is history.
In 1964 Glen Bell sold his first Franchise to Kermit Becky (ret LA policeman) paving the way to thousands of stores serving millions of customers everyday. In 1978 Bell sold his company to Pepsico for a whopping $125 million in stock. The rest -as they say- is history.
greg creed on glen bell
Greg Creed -President and CEO of Taco Bell- on Glen Bell's death in 2010.

The Glen Bell Story in More Detail (Corporate Video)

 

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