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Where’s the Beef?

We should be celebrating the fact that innovation and entrepreneurship has brought a wide variety of food options to the table for people of all economic backgrounds, and not attacking a company for providing cheap food at a cheap price.

By all accounts, Taco Bell is a story of success. Since Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell restaurant in Downey, California in 1962, the franchise has expanded to 7,072 restaurants with over 200,000 employees worldwide. In 2015, the company (which is currently owned by Yum! Brands) brought in $1.98 billion in revenue. It is no secret why this restaurant has experienced such growth.

Like its rivals in the fast food industry, Taco Bell specializes in offering meals to its customers at the cheapest possible price. In 2011, the company came under attack by a publicity-seeking law firm and a news media that was all-too-eager to exploit any potential controversy, no matter how frivolous. What should have been a story about how a private business feeds millions of people for what amounts to pocket change was instead a pseudo-investigation into what qualified as ground beef.

No one has ever gone into a Taco Bell under the illusion they were purchasing quality food, because we are all aware that you cannot stuff 460 calories into a burrito and charge 99 cents without sacrificing something. Its cheapness is the foundation of its appeal, and even the company acknowledges this fact with its advertising slogans “Big Variety, Small Price,” and “Why Pay More?”

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