Less than three weeks after the grand opening celebration of Taco Bell on September 6, the restaurant has made an estimated $2,500 per day in sales.
“I hope [sales] will increase as we add breakfast to our menu in one week and as we get faster at our line service,” said Val Brown, director of dining services.
As of now, Taco Bell is still waiting for breakfast menus to come in before they begin opening at 8:00 a.m.
“We had some computer issues in the beginning. We just wanted to make sure we had down the basics before we move to something else,” said Mike McNamara, Taco Bell manager, who had previously worked as a Wendy’s manager for 13 years.
According to Brown, what longer hours hope to bring to campus is also more of a community around UVU’s dining areas.
“[Longer hours] bring more students up later in the evening, and it makes more of a whole atmosphere of a student center as opposed to closing at five o’clock,” Brown said.
According to Brown, the decision to choose what new restaurant franchise to add over any other was no accident.
“We polled the students. We were trying to figure out what food students would want the most,” Brown said.
Back in 2009, a survey developed by institutional research proved Subway was most desired restaurant to bring to campus, with Taco Bell in second place. These results led dining services to add Subway to its present location in the Sorensen Center dining area.
Two years later, 11% of approximately 19,000 surveyed full time students responded to a similar survey, putting Taco Bell in first place.
“When we saw that there was available space, we went to the corporate people at Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.”
Following a six-month process of getting State Senators and Yum brands to come to an agreement, dining services was able to purchase a part of the franchise and start construction. The whole construction process from groundbreaking to opening day took a total of 60 days.
“Almost like a kit, Taco bell gives a whole list of equipment they require,” Brown said.
Given the size of the facility’s center prep area building, the Taco Bell took a bit of creativity.
“We had to build the building around part of the equipment,” Brown said.
Luckily, Taco Bell’s walls are licensed to stay and aren’t predicted to come down any time soon. The $10,500 franchise purchase under UVU dining services is licensed for the next 10 years.