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Taco Bell is Experiencing Major National Shortages of These Ingredients

Customers are being turned away empty-handed.

Taco Bell customers are used to menu items going missing. The brand is well known for its strategy of periodically retiring and reinstating popular menu items to keep things fresh. For example, the chain stopped serving the fan-favorite Mexican Pizza last November, regardless of its iconic status, while their viral Nacho Fries will soon make their seventh limited-time appearance on the menu in just four years.

But customers have recently been noticing a different kind of menu shakeup: shortages of essential ingredients. Social media platforms have recently been buzzing with stories of Taco Bell locations running out of basic supplies. Fans took to Twitter to complain about nationwide shortages of beef, chicken, and 10-inch tortillas at the chain a few weeks ago.

RELATED: One of the Most Popular Taco Bell Items In History Is Returning to the Menu

Currently, it sounds like the hot and mild sauces are harder to come by.

The observations are similar over on Reddit. One member of the Taco Bell subreddit, who had attempted to order several burritos, recounts being turned away due to shortages of tortillas, tomatoes, and lettuce –– "anything…fresh," according to the employee they spoke to.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell employees are sharing stories of late or incomplete supply deliveries, with some locations beginning to close up shop early due to running out of essential ingredients. One customer observed that their Taco Bell had begun to close earlier, at 11p.m., while a Taco Bell employee confirmed in a subsequent thread that locations have indeed been closing early due to a lack of basic ingredients.

It is worth noting that Taco Bell has a particularly active online fan community (so much so that one fan started a thread about it), so the complaints about ingredient shortages could be blown out of proportion. In fact, global shortages of essential ingredients brought on by supply channel bottlenecks have affected many fast-food chains and Taco Bell's experience of those shortages might just appear more extreme due to the sheer volume of online complaints.

In any event, Taco Bell has officially gotten in front of the story by acknowledging the spotty ingredient supply on its website. "Sorry if we can't feed your current crave," reads the announcement. "Due to national ingredient shortages and delivery delays, we may be out of some items." The company did not immediately return our request for comment.

The shortages couldn't have come at a worse time for Taco Bell, which any day now may be on the hook for more than three hundred million free tacos, as part of its recent NBA Comebacks promotional deal. With any luck, though, the Bucks and the Suns will stay the course and Taco Bell will dodge what could easily become a massive strain on its supply chain.

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Owen Duff
Owen Duff is a freelance journalist based in Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s. Read more about Owen