Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Yum’s Taco Bell Joins McDonalds Abandoning Brand Protectionism for Global Success.

Yum Brands, with over 5,000 KFC units in China alone has had global success.  However, Taco Bell has not been able to find its international footing yet.  Yum once again had decided to follow  McDonalds lead for McDonalds  has long understood that strategy trumps tactics in a global marketplace. McDonalds clearly is the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) leader in the United States and the World. Over the past 30+ years McDonalds has leveraged its consumer qualitative and quantitative attributes via marvelous menu magic, building a better brand for global success.

Taco Bell has decided to join McDonalds abandoning brand protectionism in favor of international unit growth and sales success. Taco Bell, has had a very slow start in India according to all reports including senior executives of the QSR company. Taco Bell, having now undergone a major menu re-make will offer a menu with 60% localized and vegetarian offerings in India.  This is a first for Taco Bell anywhere in the world.  Abandoning brand protectionism is what Foodservice Solutions® has consistently recommended. 

This is a very good move on the part of Yum Brands and will provide the lift Taco Bell needs.
Here is a sample of what McDonalds is doing. In Germany you can find cold beer in most McDonalds. Canada, have a lobster dinner with the McLobster lobster roll. In fish-loving Norway, they have the McLaks, a sandwich made of grilled salmon and dill sauce. In Hong Kong,  Rice Burgers, where the burgers are in between, not burger buns, but two patties of glutinous rice.

Australians can order Vegemite with your English muffin.  Australian Happy Meals serve something called the Pasta Zoo which is a vegetable and cheese ravioli in the shape of zoo animals, served with a side of "Zoo Goo," made of tomato.

In Asia the shrimp burger is called the "EBI Filet-O" in Japan. In Hong Kong, it's formally titled the Shrimp Burger and comes on bread with lettuce and spicy sauce.  In addition you my Japan's own shrimp tempura. These shrimp are encrusted in a light batter and dunk nicely into tempura sauce.

In Malaysia you can find a cup of porridge with bits of chicken, ginger, onion, shallots and chili peppers.
In India there are no beef burgers at McDonald's in India try the McVeggie -- a rice, bean and vegetable patty that McDonald's treats predictably with breading -- or the McAloo Tikki -- a potato-vegetable burger. Then there is the  Maharaja Mac, which is a Big Mac made of lamb or chicken meat.

In Egypt, but across the Middle East. It serves the McArabia, two chicken or beef patties in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion and tahini sauce. We see this more as a transplanted hamburger than shawarma or falafel.

QSR brand protectionism is not a success tactic nor is it a strategy. If success leaves clues in the restaurant industry one clearly is incorporating consumer qualitative and quantitative attributes into a menu magic.

 For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Johnson, or

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