Taco Bell Is Capitalizing on a Big Decision by McDonald’s

January 9, 2017, 4:45 PM UTC

If you love Taco Bell, there’s good news: The fast-food chain is doubling down on its dollar menu selection in 2017.

This is a notable expansion, considering fast-food giant McDonald’s did away with its $1 offerings more than three years ago. Although the menu brought in customers, the cheap prices made it hard to turn a profit. And even though McDonald’s replaced the dollar menu with McPick 2, its sales have been tepid—mainly because the chain had not replaced the menu “with significant-enough value in the eyes of consumers,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said in 2015.

But that hasn’t stopped Taco Bell.

“We have not walked away from the dollar-menu price point when others have,” Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer Marisa Thalberg told Business Insider.

The chain’s dollar menu success is due to three things, according to Business Insider: Its ability to churn out new products, its tendency to introduce bizarre menu items, and its multi-pronged approach to value. Many of the chain’s dollar menu items (like Double Stacked Tacos, which Taco Bell introduced in December) are only for a limited time—incentivizing new customers to check out the offer.

Despite the restaurant industry’s falling sales, Americans are still more willing to spend money on meals out than on any other “nonessential product or service,” Rare reports—meaning Taco Bell’s dollar menu could be its cash cow.

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