To celebrate its “liberation” of Taco Tuesday, stemming from Taco John’s relinquishment of the trademark after more than 40 years, Taco Bell wants to cover a $5 million taco tab. Taco Bell today announced it is partnering with DoorDash to cover a portion of taco orders from any participating vendor selling Mexican cuisine on Sept. 12.
The chain is also offering customers a free Doritos Locos Taco every Tuesday from Aug. 15 through Sept. 12, when it opens its $5 million tab via DoorDash. More information about the Sept. 12 celebration will be available soon.
“Taco Tuesday belongs to all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos, and this free-for-all will not only thank taco fans who supported the cause, but will also spotlight local restaurants and vendors who can now embrace Taco Tuesdays without fear of legal action,” CMO Taylor Montgomery said in a statement. “When tacos win, we all win. We all win when Taco John’s decides to release its trademark registration, we all win when taco vendors everywhere are free to join the movement, and we all win when taco fans can freely celebrate and support Taco Tuesdays at Taco Bell or anywhere else.”
The crusade to cancel the federal trademark registrations for Taco Tuesday via the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board began in May when Taco Bell filed legal petitions stating it believed the phrase should belong to “all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos.” The petitions were directed mostly toward Taco John’s, which owned the registration in 49 states.
Since then, the much-smaller Taco John’s called Taco Bell a “big, bad bully” for inciting the battle in the first place. That battle, by the way, reached a pitch in late May when Taco Bell recruited LeBron James’ support, while Jack in the Box also responded to what it called Taco Bell’s “hissy fit.”
Taco John’s agreed to drop the trademark last month, as CEO Jim Creel said, “paying millions of dollars to defend our mark just doesn’t feel like the right thing to do.”
Notably, a small business called Gregory’s Bar & Restaurant continues to own the Taco Tuesday trademark in New Jersey and has vowed to continue to defend it in that state.
“It’s a business decision, and it should be left alone because I was granted, I’ve paid my dues, every time it comes up, we submit our check, every time we get reviewed, we pass,” Owner Gregory Gregory told The Press of Atlantic City last week.
CORE reaps the benefits
Taco John’s may be without its trademark now, but the headlines have helped drive a 25% increase in downloads and a “significant improvement” in same-store sales growth and traffic since May.
Additionally, when Taco John’s dropped its trademark, it challenged Taco Bell with a $40,000 donation to the non-profit organization Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), which supports restaurant workers with children by providing financial relief when either the employee, spouse or a child faces a life-altering health crisis, injury, death or natural disaster. Taco Bell has agreed to match that donation for CORE.
Also, Taco Bell has committed to donating $1 million in partnership with the Taco Bell Foundation to support young people through grants and educational scholarships.
Taco Bell tests flatbread melts
Taco Bell is testing chicken flatbread melts in the Dayton, Ohio, market. The melts are available in Mexican BBQ and three-cheese Chipotle flavors and are $2.
The Mexican BBQ Flatbread Melt includes grilled chicken covered in a new Mexican BBQ sauce and paired with a blend of three shredded cheeses – cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey pepper jack. The Three-Cheese Flatbread Melt includes Chipotle sauce and the same trio of cheeses. A Chicken Flatbread Deluxe Cravings Box is also available in the market, with a Doritos Cheese Gordita Crunch, Crunchy Taco, Cinnamon Twists, your choice of Chicken Flatbread Melt and a medium drink for $9.49.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]