It’s 1946 and a 23-year-old guy named Glen Bell decides to open up a hot dog stand in San Bernardino, California. Yes, a hot dog stand...
Turns out , the stand was a complete bust. No one came. “Glen’s Drive-In” just wasn’t the place to be. Instead, the “hot spot” in town was the Mexican restaurant directly across the street.
But what made this Mexican restaurant so special? Why were its lines so freakishly long? Because it served one of the most unique food items in the hospitality business—something never-before seen in the United States of America: The hard-shelled taco.
Glen’s eyes widened. He saw an opportunity, set his hot dog apron aside, and befriended the owners. Glen eventually convinced them to give him a tour of the kitchen, and that’s where he learned how the hard-shelled taco was made.
After that, Glen pulled a “McDonalds” (if you’ve seen the movie, “The Founder”, you’ll get that reference). He stole the hard-shelled taco idea, found a way to mass produce them, and opened hundreds of his own restaurants across the country. Glen also decided on the perfect name: Taco Bell.
So, there you go: two fun facts to take with you to your next cocktail party.
1) Taco Bell used to be a small hot dog stand.
2) Glen Bell stole the hard-shelled taco idea from an innocent Mexican restaurant operating right across the street.
**Continue reading with these sources: this article, and this article.
**Read more FS stories here.
If you liked reading this article, you might also like The Wedge: a quick-to-read weekly e-mail newsletter with awesome business stories that'll increase your creativity and resourcefulness just by reading them. Learn more and sign up here.