Percentage of U.S. population who visited in March:
1-year stock price change:
As recently as 2011, Taco Bell (YUM
) was struggling to keep competitor Chipotle (CMG
) from taking its customers, with flat or negative same-store sales growth in each quarter that year. This changed in early 2012, when Taco Bell released the Doritos Locos taco
, a hard taco with the flavor of Doritos nacho chips. That item help the company increase comparable sales in every quarter of 2012, as the company sold more than 1 million of them a day. In March, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed told The Daily Beast the company had hired 15,000 workers just to meet demand for the Doritos Locos taco in 2012. Last year, the company's sales increased by $1 billion to $11.8 billion, and net income rose by roughly $300 million to $1.6 billion.