Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Big Bell "Value" Menu

For all those Taco Bell lovers, buyer beware. Apparently, part of the "value" you get with your Taco Bell meals is a side of E. coli. If you haven't heard already, over the weekend there was a massive E. coli outbreak in New Jersey, Long Island and Pennsylvania all linking to patron eating at Taco Bell restaurants. Over 65 cases were reported, with many suffereing severe nausea, vomiting and other niceities associated with E. coli. One would think that it might be somehow linked to the Grade F meat or whatever they use in their Tacos, but apparently the root of the problem was... green onions. How you like them apples?

So what does this all mean? Well as with all fast food, you can never be sure of how it was packaged, shipped, and prepared. But then again even with some of the "fresh" food we buy, you can never be sure. Either way, I've never been much of a Taco Bell fan and this little tidbit isn't making me become one any sooner. More importantly, those in the market may want to watch Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: Yum), owner of Taco Bell and various other fast food establishments like Pizza Hut. As seen in the chart below, the stock has suffered a blip dropping over $1 in the past few days. While this may not be cause for alarm, you may want to keep an eye on this to see how unfolding events may draw scrutiny on the company, possibly lawsuits and the like, which could drag the stock down in the gutter. Further, customers turned off by this news can vote with their dollars and stop "thinking outside the bun" and lead to a decline in profits.

For the faithful out there, however, Taco Bell goes on strong. A recent article in the NY Times, "Some Stomachs Deliberate and Conclude: I Want Tacos" shows people are still returning to the restaurant regardless of the bad press. Well, what can I say, they're much braver souls than I...

One Love,

1 comment:

Heejin said...

Taco Bell is one of my favorite fast foods...Oh, wells. I think my most fave fast food is Chic-fil-A (sp?). Subway is good too, but it seems too healthy to be in same category as others. McDonald's in Europe does have my fave dessert though...Affogato (espresso with their vanilla ice cream).