Taco Bell are famous for many things, but fine dining isn’t one of them. Ever since they first burst onto the scene in 1962, the chain has made its name serving an affordable mish-mash of not-really-American, definitely-not-Mexican fast food fusion. It might be almost impossible to describe, but no one can doubt its success. Any business that can rake in close to $2bn every year is clearly doing something right.
Historically, the business have been understandably reluctant to stray too far from this formula. Even items at the top end of the Taco Bell budget have rarely set a customer back more than about four or five dollars. This strategy has served them well for decades. However, a new announcement this week suggests that change may be on the horizon for anyone who likes to indulge in occasional budget Tex Mex.
As of January 24th, Taco Bell have been quietly testing a brand new luxury item. Launched exclusively in Cleveland, Ohio, the chain have unveiled the “Double Steak Melt Deluxe Box”, a massive meal that comes with a substantial $7 price tag. If it were to receive a larger roll-out, the product would rank as the most expensive single meal in the chain’s history.
As ever with Taco Bell, customers get plenty of bang for their relatively substantial buck. The meal features an all new marinated steak flatbread, served with double the amount of cheese and filling you would find on a regular item. This is presented alongside the restaurant’s famous “Nacho Fries”, an additional crunchy taco and a medium drink. It might be a little pricey, but you can’t quibble with the amount of food.
Despite sounding both intriguing and delicious, the meal is currently only available to customers from Cleveland until late February, so opportunities for anyone else to stick their teeth into it will be fairly thin on the ground. However, if you want to get a sense of exactly what’s on offer, The Daily Meal have revealed that the flat bread used in the dish is actually the same as the one found in the business’ infamous “Double Cheesy Gordita Crunch”. This is not a dish for anyone who’s only looking for a light snack.
The fact that Taco Bell feel it’s time to up the ante in their pricing structure could be indicative of a wider trend in the fast food sector. Last year, rival franchise McDonald’s introduced their new “Signature” collection - a range of high end burgers aimed at customers with deeper pockets. If Taco Bell’s move is anything to go by, 2019 could be the year that we see similar items make it to market.
Whether the new steak meal box will be given a wider roll out remains to be seen. Just like in an American election year, an inordinate amount seems to hang on the decision of anyone living in Ohio. There’s little doubt that the meal deal is a marked departure from what has gone before. Steak fans across the country will be hoping that it does enough to keep Cleveland’s fast food fans happy.