For Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM)’s Taco Bell, thinking outside the bun means going gourmet.

The chain that once used a talking chihuahua to sell chalupas is working with Miami chef Lorena Garcia to win back eaters who have become accustomed to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.’s (CMG) style of Mexican fare. Menu items will include Chipotle staples such as black beans, cilantro rice and corn salsa, Greg Creed, Taco Bell’s president, said last month.

Taco Bell could use a boost. The chain has shrunk by more than 1,000 stores since 2000 and has been left behind as Yum expanded its KFC and Pizza Hut chains overseas. Chipotle, in the meantime, has been a stock market star, its shares tripling since the end of 2009.

Originally posted by Mark on January 16, 2012 in Franchise Site.


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