Taco Bell in Japan, Round Two Japan, Will This Time Be a Fiesta or Siesta?

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Taco Bell in Japan
(Round Two Japan, will this time be a Fiesta or Siesta?)
By Phillip Smith

As a child, growing up on the West Coast of America, Taco Bell, was as common as McDonalds, with locations in every neighborhood. Its classic chicken quesadilla and bean burrito were staples of my college diet and I could not imagine a fast-food landscape without the spicy taco-sauce. Although, since moving to Japan in 2005, I’ve had to settle for eating Taco Bell only when traveling outside of Japan. That being said, every other major US fast-food chain seems to be serving its notable favorites in the land of the Rising Sun. For example, McDonalds operates over 3,100 units (Inagaki, 2015), Kentucky Fried Chicken has 1165 locations (Yum!’s, 2015) and Starbucks has 1117 (Loxcel, 2015); but where is Taco Bell?

On 21 April, 2015, the multinational fast-food chain answered back with its launch into the Japan market with a new location in Shibuya, Tokyo. This is not Taco Bell’s first launch in Japan. Back in the late 1980’s it opened stores in two markets, Tokyo and Nagoya (Matayoshi, 2015). A few years later in the early 1990s, they closed all the Japan operations, abandoning the country.

Will the second attempt be different? How will marketing play a role in its success? Did they invest in market research to gain insight in the lay of the land? How will its competitive environment contrast its first attempt to penetrate the Japan market? What type of competitive strategies will it use? When setting pricing and menu mix, how will competitive bench marketing and competitor analysis play a role in decision making? These questions and others will be reviewed as we dive into Taco Bell in Japan, Round Two, will this time be a Fiesta or Siesta? TACO BELL HISTORY
Taco Bell was started by a man named Glen Bell, who started his entrepreneur dream with…...

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