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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 10/10/2007 3:12:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 3:16:54 AM EST by AssaultRifler]
LOL

Taco Bell attempts to sell gringo tacos in Mexico get lost in translation

canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gdxRoVscGGEqHz5eSz_cQe-oEI0w
Mark Stevenson, The Associated Press
MEXICO CITY - It sounds like a fast-food grudge match: Taco Bell is taking on the homeland of the taco by opening stores in Mexico for the first time in 15 years.

Defenders of Mexican culture see the chain's re-entry as a crowning insult to a society already overrun by U.S. chains from Starbucks and Subway to KFC.

"It's like bringing ice to the Arctic," complained pop culture historian Carlos Monsivais.

The company's branding strategy -- "Taco Bell is something else" -- is an attempt to distance itself from any comparison to Mexico's beloved taquerias, which sell traditional corn tortillas stuffed with an endless variety of fillings, from spicy beef to corn fungus and cow eyes.

Taco Bell, a unit of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc., made its name promoting its menu to Americans as something straight out of Mexico.

It's a different dynamic south of the border.

There, the company is projecting a more "American" fast-food image by adding french fries -- some topped with cheese, cream, ground meat and tomatoes -- to the menu at its first store, which opened in late September in the northern city of Monterrey.

Other than the fries and sales of soft-serve ice cream, "our menu comes almost directly from the U.S. menu," said Yum Mexico Managing Director Steven Pepper.

Some of the names have been changed to protect the sacred: The hard-shelled items sold as "tacos" in the U.S. have been renamed "tacostadas." This made-up word is a play on "tostada," which for Mexicans is a hard, fried disk of cornmeal that is always served flat, with toppings.

Mexicans eagerly buy many American brands, but the taco holds a place of honor in the national cuisine. Mexicans eat them everywhere, anytime of day, buying them from basket-toting street vendors in the morning or slathering them in salsa at brightly lit taquerias to wrap up a night on the town.

Taco Bell has taken pains to say that it's not trying to masquerade as a Mexican tradition.

"One look alone is enough to tell that Taco Bell is not a 'taqueria,' " the company said in a half-page newspaper ad. "It is a new fast-food alternative that does not pretend to be Mexican food."

It's still a mixed message for Mexicans like Marco Fragoso, a 39-year-old office worker sitting down for lunch at a traditional taqueria in Mexico City, because the U.S. chain uses traditional Mexican names for its burritos, gorditas and chalupas.

"They're not tacos," Fragoso said. "They're folded tostadas. They're very ugly."

First try was a debacle

Taco Bell failed with an earlier, highly publicized launch in Mexico City in 1992, when it opened a few outlets next to KFC restaurants. Now both KFC and Pizza Hut are owned by Yum Brands.

Mexicans were less familiar with foreign chains back then, and the economy was on the verge of a crisis. The North American Free Trade Agreement had yet to be signed. The restaurants didn't last two years.

Since then, free trade and growing migration have made U.S. brands ubiquitous in Mexico, influencing everything from how people dress to how they talk.

McDonald's has modified its menu to offer eggs "a la Mexicana" and even hands out packets of jalapeno sauce with its hamburgers. In contrast, Taco Bell advises customers of offerings that are "spicy" instead of the Spanish "picante."

"Taco Bell wants to take advantage of the perception that if something comes from the United States, it tastes better, that a country that has been Americanized is willing to Americanize food that is central to its cuisine," Monsivais said. "It is an absurd idea, and given that it's so absurd, it may just be successful in upper-class areas."

Other U.S. chains, such as KFC and Chili's Grill & Bar, have been wildly popular in Mexico. One of the most successful has been Starbucks, which has expanded to more than 150 stores in five years, even though its venti chai latte costs almost as much as a day's minimum wage.

The Starbucks outlets are mainly in wealthier neighborhoods. Taco Bell is aiming at a different demographic -- opening in the solidly middle-class Monterrey suburb of Apodaca, an area where residents may not have traveled to the United States.

"We want to appeal to consumers who haven't tried Taco Bell, for whom this would be their first experience with Taco Bell," said Javier Rancano, the company's director in Mexico.

Taco Bell is building its second store in another Monterrey suburb and plans to open eight to 10 more locations in 2008, with plans to eventually reach 300 stores, Rancano said.

'Something is lacking'

On a recent weekday afternoon, about 20 customers were eating at the first store, picking from a menu offering tacos for just over $1 and a grilled beef burrito for about $5.70. That's in line with prices at other fast food outlets in the area, but some customers weren't impressed.

"Something is lacking here," said one customer at the Apodaca restaurant, Jonathan Elorriaga, 26. "Maybe the food shouldn't come with french fries."
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:32:18 AM EST
Their bitching about being over-run by US brands??????

Viva Fuck Mexico
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:36:22 AM EST
Yep, screw mexico. Flush twice, they need the water.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:39:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By WalkerTexasRanger:
Their bitching about being over-run by US brands??????

Viva Fuck Mexico


Perhaps they are more united in attempting to preserve their culture while we.... hmm....
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:40:43 AM EST
stuff mine with cow eyes, please!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:42:47 AM EST
The only way to make it succeed is to staff it with illegal gringos.

And a little carneceria opened right across the street from my shop-best freaking tacos anywhere-fresh grilled pork, salsa made in the back room, and best of all-they only cost a buck.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:53:39 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 3:55:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 4:00:10 AM EST by Coolio]
I don't get what the fuss is about down there.
I mean, none of that Taco Bell and/or ChiChi's stuff is Mexican anyway. I mean it's TexMex, right?
I don't think it's any more of an attempt to hijack Mexican cuisine than the pizza pie is an attempt to hijack Italian cuisine. These food items are their own separate thing.

When I was in Mexico, none of the better restaurants offered menu items anywhere approaching TexMex. It was more Castillian; from Spain. There were street vendors with taco like things + unidentifiable road kill in heated bins, but no one in their right mind would experiment with any of that stuff.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:15:19 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:32:51 AM EST
The corn fungus is good stuff
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:37:29 AM EST
I thought this thread was about a Mexican phone company ....
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:38:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By DernHumpus:
The corn fungus is good stuff


Yep.

TB sucks.
Real tacos in Mexico are the shit.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:40:54 AM EST
Taco Bell is Mexican food the same way Pizza Hut is Italian or KFC is down home southern cookin. All are at best a pale imitation of the real thing.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:40:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:

Originally Posted By DernHumpus:
The corn fungus is good stuff


Yep.

TB sucks.
Real tacos in Mexico are the shit.


Without a doubt.

And the water in Mexico GIVES you the shits.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:43:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Critter-Buster:
I thought this thread was about a Mexican phone company ....




Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:46:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By Coolio:
There were street vendors with taco like things + unidentifiable road kill in heated bins, but no one in their right mind would experiment with any of that stuff.

I must be crazy then. I don't consider it good "Mexican food" unless I can't tell if it used to bark
One of the few things I miss about living down south.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:48:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By PAEBR332:

And the water in Mexico GIVES you the shits.

You just aren't drinking enough tequila with it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:59:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Critter-Buster:
I thought this thread was about a Mexican phone company ....


Thanks, I needed that today!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:02:39 AM EST
I for one am surprised that their "Run for the Border" slogan isn't a big hit.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:02:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 5:03:05 AM EST by JaxShooter]

Originally Posted By Coolio:
I mean, none of that Taco Bell and/or ChiChi's stuff is Mexican anyway. I mean it's TexMex, right?

That's an insult to Texans.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:28:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:

Originally Posted By DernHumpus:
The corn fungus is good stuff


Yep.

TB sucks.
Real tacos in Mexico are the shits.



Oh wait. That would actually better describe Taco Hell's crap.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:29:47 AM EST
perhaps because they are actually using legal immigrants for the work?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:30:42 AM EST
ya think?

Sort of like going to Beijing and opening a Panda Express, then complaining cause it doesn't do well. Don't get me wrong, some chain ethnic stuff is good but sometimes you have to go for the real deal.

REAL ethnic food doesn't come from a chain!

Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:53:05 AM EST

The only way to make it succeed is to staff it with illegal gringos.


LOL I almost spit coffee on my monitor. I could almost picture that. Thats funny
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:55:19 AM EST
Run for the border.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:30:12 AM EST
Only an idiot would eat taco bell when they can get real mexican food. I hope they fail big time.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:35:18 AM EST
But they like those cute little dogs
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:41:00 AM EST

"It is a new fast-food alternative that does not pretend to be Mexican food."



Hard to argue with that.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:46:20 AM EST
I dont give a fuck what happens in mexico
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:01:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By PAEBR332:

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:

Originally Posted By DernHumpus:
The corn fungus is good stuff


Yep.

TB sucks.
Real tacos in Mexico are the shit.


Without a doubt.

And the water in Mexico GIVES you the shits.


Not after the six month.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:08:31 AM EST
Where are they getting their employees? I wouldn't think there could be any left.
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