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9 Secrets Most People Don't Know About Taco Bell

If you've ever wondered just how certain menu items are made, well here you go.

Fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell are often handing food out of a drive-thru window to people who have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. Ever wondered what really is going on behind the scenes?

Well, you're in luck. Taco Bell employees have taken to social media to talk about everything you've ever wanted to Know. From what it's really like to work at the fast food chain, to some menu hacks and secrets, as well as things you definitely didn't know about the restaurant that will simply have you wanting to Live Mas, the truth is here. Uncover these best-kept secrets.

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The same company owns KFC and Pizza Hut

taco bell exterior

Fast-food chains are always competing for customers, but if you're choosing between Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, you're choosing from the same company. Yum! brands owns these three chains and just recently announced plans for world domination of the fast-food industry with an aggressive expansion plan to take over some of the claim that McDonald's has staked across the world.

The beef has a lot of fillers.

beefy potato-rito taco bell
Courtesy of Taco Bell

According to one former employee of the fast food restaurant, the beef used at Taco Bell is only 88% beef. The other 12%? Apparently, it's fillers and other ingredients that aren't beef. According to the Taco Bell website, they start with 100% beef and then add seasonings, just like you do at home. However, the ingredient list tells a different story, because unless you add cellulose, maltodextrin, oats, cocoa and a few other things, it's not quite the same.

You must have a good memory and eye for precision.

taco bell employee

One employee told Thrillist that because the menu is always changing and the chain is extremely particular about how the food is made, it can take two months or more to memorize the menu and all of the prep instructions for each item.

Every item is weighed before it goes out to a customer.

taco bell

In the same Thrillist interview, the employee mentioned that everything from the menu gets put on a digital scale before it's passed to a customer. If the item is even off slightly, the employee has to throw the entire thing away. Scale training is an actual thing and it takes real skill to get everything into a taco or Crunchwrap precisely.

Most every ingredient comes at least partially prepared.

taco bell

According to TikTok user @calen_lennon the beef at Taco Bell comes in a bag with all of the seasonings already mixed in. When a restaurant is ready to use it, all the employee needs to do is drop the bag into boiling water for about 30 minutes, pour the beef out, and deliver it to the line cooks.

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Anything with potatoes can add a long wait to getting your food.

taco bell potato taco
Courtesy of Taco Bell

One TikTok user said the beloved potatoes at Taco Bell take almost 30 minutes to prepare. So if the restaurant is making a new batch or has recently run out, it will take you longer to get your food. The user also mentioned that her location makes every single chalupa fresh when they are ordered.

Cinnamon Twists actually start out as dehydrated twists.

taco bell cinnamon twists
Taco Bell / Facebook

When you order the cinnamon twists, the kitchen gets the order started by dumping a small number of dehydrated twists into a fryer basket and lowering it into the hot oil. As the twists heat up they expand to make the shape you are served. Oh, and if you haven't ever put medium Taco Bell sauce on a cinnamon twist, you're missing out.

The secret to the Doritos-flavored taco shells is actually fry seasoning.

taco bell nacho cheese doritos locos taco best
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Taco Bell actually hand-coats each Nacho Doritos taco shell. See, it starts off with a crunchy corn shell. It gets fry seasoning shaken onto both sides while on a plate. When both sides are covered, a lid goes on the plate and the shell is shaken gently until all of the surfaces are completely covered with fry seasoning.


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The entire menu is customizable.

taco bell

If you're a true fan of the chain, then you likely know all about this. Many former employees have shared that the entire Taco Bell menu is completely customizable. You can swap meats, taco shells, sides, and more, just by asking. And, the point of sale system sometimes still has menu items that have been discontinued knowing that customers can still order then with what's available at the restaurant. So go ahead and make any meal your own!

A previous version of this article was originally published on June 23, 2021. I has been update with new information.

Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a travel and lifestyle journalist with bylines across the internet and in print at Delish, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Yahoo Lifestyle, and more. Read more about Megan