Monday, January 18, 2010

Glen Bell, founder of Taco Bell, has died

Glen Bell, the founder of Taco Bell (one of my favorite places on the planet), died on Sunday at his home in the San Diego area at the age of 86.

Glen Bell started his first restaurant, called Bell's Drive-In, in 1948 in California after seeing the success of McDonald's Bar-B-Que, the predecessor of McDonald's, which was founded in 1940. Like McDonald's, Bell's Drive-In wanted to take advantage of Southern California's car culture by serving burgers and hot dogs through drive-in windows.

Bell then helped establish Taco Tias in Los Angeles, El Tacos in the Long Beach, and Der Wienerschnitzel (which is now just known as Wienerschnitzel), a national hot dog chain.

Bell's next project was Taco Bell in 1962 after leaving his business partners and quickly expanding around Los Angeles. He sold the first Taco Bell franchise in 1964.

In 1978, Bell sold his 868 Taco Bell restaurants to Pepsi.

Taco Bell is now owned by Yum! Brands and is the largest Mexican fast-food chain in America feeding more than 36 million people each week at more than 5,600 locations.

Maybe they'll embalm him with Taco Bell Mild Sauce.