10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Taco Bell

There are few fast food chains as beloved and controversial as Taco Bell.

There are few fast food chains as beloved and controversial as Taco Bell - I mean, what restaurant gets sued, shuts down the case and then writes a letter back saying, “Thanks for suing us?" Right on, Taco Bell.

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Taco Bell has some interesting history behind it, and may be the best decision you make at 1 am.

1. The Oldest Taco Bell Was In The Same Town As The Oldest Operating McDonald’s


There must be something in the water out there. Photo: @abc7la / Instagram

Coincidence? I think not. Or maybe it is. The country’s oldest Taco Bell, founded in 1962, was until recently located in Downey, CA, (as a “historically significant” building, it was moved to their headquarters in Irvine, CA, in November 2015).

The nearby McDonald’s opened in 1953, and while it may be the third McD’s to open, it’s the oldest one still operating. That’s one historic town.

2. Taco Bell’s Founder Was Related To The Man Who Inspired The Character, Sherlock Holmes


Here he is in a big hat! Photo: @billthestud / Instagram

Sort of? Glen William Bell, Jr. was the founder of Taco Bell and a direct descendant of Joseph Bell, a medical genius who lived in the early 1800s and is remembered as the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character, Sherlock Holmes.

3. Taco Bell Once Petitioned To Bring Back The $2 Bill


Sadly, Taco Bell did not have as much influence over the Feds as they’d hoped. Photo: @hsanmar / Instagram

Sure, it may have been a clever marketing ploy, but in 2010, Taco Bell petitioned the government to bring back the $2 bill. The reasoning? To promote their $2 Meal Deal of an entrée plus chips and a drink. They’re clever – too clever.

(Note: The U.S. Treasury still makes the $2 bill, albeit in limited quantities.)

4. The Famed Taco Bell Chihuahua Was Named Gidget


The good news is that there’s an endless supply of Taco Bell in dog heaven. Photo: Wikipedia

The now-famous Taco Bell mascot was named Gidget! Although the Taco Bell character was a male dog, Gidget was female. Gidget lived to be 15-years-old but sadly died in 2009 after having a stroke in her L.A. home. At least, poor Gidget went out in style.

5. The Doritos Locos Taco Took 3 Years To Create


True craftsmanship takes time. Photo: @suming_eee / Instagram

From the moment, the idea came into some genius’ mind to the moment the taco was finally complete and ready for sale, took a total of 3 years. Worth it. Worth. It.

6. The Doritos Locos Taco Made $1 Million Dollars A Day When It Debuted


^ what the taco said. Photo: @katelyn_christinex3 / Instagram

This taco is the most popular taco of all time. Making $1 million a DAY when it first came out, the unveiling of the Doritos Locos Taco allowed Taco Bell to add 15,000 jobs to the company. Helping the economy and our stomachs - thank you, Taco Bell.

7. Taco Bell Once Put A Giant Target In The Ocean


Thanks a LOT for missing the mark, Mir Space Station! Photo: @travellingthroughspace / Instagram

When the Mir Space Station was crashing down from outer space, the Taco Bell team knew they couldn’t miss this opportunity. So, they put a giant target out in the South Pacific Ocean (as one does) and promised that if any part of the station hit the target, everyone in the U.S. would get a free taco.

Although this didn’t happen, Taco Bell had the money set aside to stay true to their word.

8. Taco Bell’s Current Logo And Look Was Inspired By The Film Demolition Man


Looks like Taco Bell is taking their part in the ‘franchise wars’ pretty seriously. Photos: Mike Mozart (storefront), m01229 (old sign) / Flickr

In Demolition Man, Taco Bell is credited as the one fast food restaurant to survive the “Franchise Wars” (apparently it was a thing).

After the film, Taco Bell changed their look to make their logo more futuristic. Originally brown and red, the colors have since been replaced by a stylish purple and yellow.

9. Taco Bell Hot Sauce Can Clean Dirty Pennies (If That’s Your Thing)


We do not recommend using it to clean your keyboard. Photo: @leslieno / Instagram

The combo of the vinegar and salt found in the sauce breaks down the copper oxide that makes pennies look so old and gross. A cool science fact but a little unsettling thinking of that being in your delicate internal organs…

10. Taco Bell Has Tried (And Failed) To Establish Restaurants In Mexico


Tijuana’s all, “Who do these guys think they’re kidding?” Photo: Herb Neufeld / Flickr

The first attempt was in 1992 when Taco Bell tried opening a few locations in Mexico City. They closed two years later.

In September of 2007, Taco Bell tried once again…and by 2010, all locations had closed. I guess they don’t want Americanized versions of their food in Mexico.