Taco Bell

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's October 2001

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" We are really not in the business of making food"¦. We are in the business of feeding people" John Martin Background Prior to 1983, Taco Bell had 40% of the Mexican food market, but only a negligible market share of the overall fast food market. It was apparent that something needed to be done if Taco Bell was going to compete successfully in the fast food market. The Taco Bell of the early 1980s was: · Production labor intensive with a low level of technology; a white board was used to keep track of orders and a manual system was used for administrative tasks.

· Preparing raw, fresh food daily, which resulted in customer delays.

· Cooking food on-site, resulting in variations in food taste and quality.

· 70% food preparation and cooking space and 30% customer service space, with no drive through service.

· Managed by three levels of managers who took part in all daily activities of the restaurant, while district managers acted as "corporate cop."

1983-1988: The First Wave - Establishing Direction and Implementing Incremental Change""New CEO John Martin has a plan.

With John Martin at the helm a series of changes were implemented to force a paradigm shift in the corporate mindset and to facilitate Taco Bell's ability to compete more successfully in the fast food market, Taco Bell did the following to establish a firm and marketable identity: · Modernized physical units "" Stores were remodeled, seating capacity was increased, drive-through windows were installed, new signs were created, and employees were outfitted in more modern uniforms.

· Added new menu items.

· Accelerated company growth "" Averaged 249 new stores per year and increased geographic presence to the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast · Streamlined food-handling "" A new assembly line was installed that...