Yum! Brands Inc (YUM).’s Taco Bell chain may introduce higher-priced menu items in all its stores in the U.S. this year to help compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG)
Yum this year has been testing the Cantina Bell menu in about 75 stores, with items priced at about $4.99, offering staples such as black beans, cilantro rice and corn salsa.
“If it makes sense, I’d love to get Cantina Bell across the country in the second half of this year,” Taco Bell Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed said in a telephone interview today.
Customers are spending more on average at the test stores, said Creed, who declined to give specific numbers. Taco Bell has also recently introduced breakfast items at about 800 of its stores to help boost sales.
Yum, based in Louisville, Kentucky, rose 0.6 percent to $67.41 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 14 percent this year.
There are about 5,670 Taco Bell locations in the U.S.
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