Taco Bell’s Sales Soar, Thanks to Pete Davidson

Taco Bell’s Sales Soar, Thanks to Pete Davidson

News by Marge Serrano
Published: February 09, 2023

Pete Davidson saved Taco Bell’s breakfast sales in a recent campaign focusing on their breakfast menu. 

Executives at Taco Bell’s parent company Yum Brands announced in earnings call that breakfast burritos and egg-stuffed quesadillas sales jumped 9% in the fourth quarter of last year, attributing the growth to the comedian’s appearance in its ads 

The celebrity cameo helped bolster Taco Bell’s US sales, which jumped 14%, beating analyst expectations. 

In October, Taco Bell hired the former “Saturday Night Live” star to spearhead a new ad campaign for its breakfast menu. The cheeky ads show Davidson apologizing for the chain’s past breakfast creations, like the Naked Egg Taco, and telling customers it would just stick to the basics. 

“We honestly over-innovated in breakfast,” Sean Tresvant, Taco Bell’s chief brand officer, told CNN last year. “When you look at today’s consumer and the [fast-food] breakfast business, it’s about familiarity, and it’s about comfort.” 

 

Why Breakfast at Taco Bell?  

Breakfast is becoming a Taco Bell highlight ever since it was brought back in 2021 following a brief pandemic-induced pause. Taco Bell’s offerings have long been overshadowed by its more established competitors, notably McDonald’s. The chain has previously said that breakfast makes up about 6% of Taco Bell’s sales, compared to 25% of McDonald’s sales. 

Promoting breakfast may prove to be a lucrative business decision. Recent research firm NPD Group report revealed that morning business has remained steady in the second quarter of 2022, while other parts of the day (including lunch and dinner) declined amid rising menu prices.  

Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs said, “the chain is making encouraging progress with breakfast,” suggesting that it intends to stick with it. He added that the chain sold 45 million Mexican Pizzas last year, an “impressive number considering they were only available for four months of the year.” 

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