Reporter's Notebook

Choice real estate


Are Taco Bell's new menu boards too wide?

Walk into a newer Taco Bell restaurant these days, and the expanse of “choice” real estate on the menu boards can be a daunting experience — a bit like reading “War and Peace,” but with more tacos and less Tolstoy.

I snapped the above photograph of the many menu options while waiting for delivery of my first sample of the Cantina Bell Chicken Bowl ($4.79 at my Dallas location), the new Taco Bell creation in partnership with chef Lorena Garcia.

My colleague Mark Brandau has been chronicling how Taco Bell has renovated and added to the menu, and it will be fascinating to watch how they will change these voluminous offerings in the future.

Because I was single-minded in my choice of the Cantina Bell bowl, I was a quick on the order. However, I noticed those behind me were having a much slower time reading through all these menu options.

But that’s how I tried to read “War and Peace,” so I understand.

Contact Ron Ruggless at
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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What's Reporter's Notebook?

Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.


Lisa Jennings

Follow @livetodineout From the Los Angeles office, Lisa Jennings covers companies based in the West, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska and...

Ron Ruggless

Ron Ruggless covers the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined Nation's Restaurant News in 1992 after working 10 years in...
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