Taco Bell, a Mexican inspired restaurant, was founded in 1954 by its owner Glen Bell in California. For theIn the first eight years of its existence, the business operated exclusively as a drive-in as its first official restaurant opened in 1962. Two decades ago, Taco Bell had a presence in the European region in the UK before it closed down in 1986 due to poor performance and a lack of acceptability by the target population. In 2010, the business made public its decision to re-enter the European market, which it did at the end of the same year (Dominguez, 2015). The first restaurant in London opened in 2018, but at the time, Taco Bell already had a notable presence in the UK. In 2015 Taco Bell, in partnership with Sol, launched the sale of beer in its restaurants to give their millennial customers a better experience (Dominguez, 2015). By 2018, the restaurant had opened its 25th outlet with a hope of adding five more by the end of the decade.
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One of the significant challenges faced by Taco Bell in London is the stiff competition they face against local businesses like Tortilla and Wahaca, who already have substantial market share in London and the entire country.
Taco Bell can benefit from the creation of a niche in the European market. The business must give priority to understanding their target population and take actions that will attract those specific people to compete favorably against other local businesses. The company can set itself apart from other fast food restaurants through the experience they give the customer, in terms of the food, presentation, and décor.
Another solution is to maximize on offering a positive customer experience that enhances customer satisfaction and consequently, customer loyalty. Taco Bell can achieve this by training staff on how to meet the needs of their clients. Timeliness in the delivery of service is critical to making the customer happy (Meyer & Peng, 2016). They may also take the time to learn the tastes and preference of European customers to ensure they tailor the products accordingly.
Finally, the business can maximize the use of innovation to market their brand and attract new customers while retaining existing ones. Having a strong online presence will help potential customers in the European market learn about the company’s offerings. The habit of Taco Bell to serve food in plates rather than as wrapped meals has made it easy for customers to share pictures on social media. Other channels of advertising, such as television, electronic billboards, and radio, can prove useful in promoting the products.
I would recommend pricing as a strategy in gaining a competitive advantage over local competitors. Taco Bell has over 7000 restaurants worldwide and has a vision of reaching 9000 by the year 2022 (Dominguez, 2015). The company has already achieved economies of scale, which means that it can lower prices to levels that their competitors cannot comfortably achieve. A lower price is likely to increase their customer base as their target population in the UK mostly comprises of millennials. Price-consciousness is a significant characteristic of their target group, which means a price war will likely work in their favor.
Tracking the number of new customers is a possible way of determining the effectiveness of the strategies implemented. Having a stagnant number or a drop in the number of customers over a period is a negative indicator of growth for a business (Cumming & Zahra, 2016). A rise in the number of people who walk into Taco Bell’s restaurants is a positive indicator of the effectiveness of their strategies and vice versa. Secondly, Taco Bell can look at its financial statements to determine whether there is growth or not. An increase in sales volume will increase the profit margin and is a possible indicator of growth in the customer base. Losses can mean that people are purchasing less of their products or the number of customers is decreasing, which is undesirable.
Finally, the business can use customer satisfaction to rate the effectiveness of their interventions. When customers are satisfied with the products and services, they will often tell others about them. As a consequence, word of mouth marketing is one way of assessing customer satisfaction. Technology and the internet provide avenues for evaluating the satisfaction of clients through reviews of the restaurant by different sites and clients. They may also opt to ask customers for their feedback to measure satisfaction.
I have learned several things from the analysis. One of the lessons from this analysis is the importance of learning from failure. Taco Bell was unsuccessful in the European market two decades ago, but now the company is thriving in the same market and avoiding the mistakes from the past. Secondly, it is important to identify new opportunities and taking calculated risks when venturing into new markets. Businesses should ascertain the existence of markets for their products or services before beginning new ventures. Lastly, I have learned that understanding the differences in customer’s values, tastes, and preferences are critical aspects in managing a successful multi-national company that serves people from various cultural backgrounds.
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Cumming, D. J., & Zahra, S. A. (2016). International business and entrepreneurship implications of Brexit. British Journal of Management, 27(4), 687-692.
Dominguez, R. R. (2015). Run for the Border: The Taco Bell War. CTheory, 12-13. Retrieved from < https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/ctheory/article/view/14849/5719>
Meyer, K. E., & Peng, M. W. (2016). Theoretical foundations of emerging economy business research. Journal of International Business Studies, 47(1), 3-22.