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Taco_Bell_Spain_Restaurant.jpg Photo courtesy of Taco Bell
A Taco Bell restaurant in Spain.

Taco Bell taps Scott Mezvinsky to oversee international division

Scott Mezvinsky has been with restaurant company Yum Brands for nearly 20 years and started with Taco Bell in early 2021 as chief strategy and financial officer.

Scott Mezvinsky, who has served as Taco Bell’s president of North America since last year, is adding “international” to his title. The company announced in a LinkedIn post that Mezvinsky’s responsibilities have recently been expanded to oversee the international division, in addition to his U.S. responsibilities.

According to his LinkedIn account, Mezvinsky has been with Taco Bell since February 2021, initially serving as chief strategy and financial officer. He was named managing director, North America, in early 2023, then president, North America, in the fall. Prior to joining Taco Bell, he held various positions with parent company Yum Brands, including with KFC, KFC Latin America, & Caribbean, Yum Russia, and KFC Iberia.

His promotion comes about six months after Julie Felss Masino left her role as Taco Bell’s president, international, to assume the president/CEO role at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. It also comes as Taco Bell picks up its international development pace; on Masino’s watch the company opened nearly 800 locations across 32 countries.

In late 2021, Spain became the chain’s first international market to surpass 100 units. That same year, Taco Bell experienced its best international development quarter ever. And, in 2022, the chain’s international development cadence outpaced U.S. development for the first time and continued that cadence in 2023 with 14%-unit growth overseas.

During the company’s most recent earnings call, Yum CEO David Gibbs said Taco Bell International will work with its franchise partners in its “big four scaled markets,” including Spain, to build brand and category awareness with Mexican food.

“Additionally, we are working on scaling and entering new markets that will enable a broader base from which to grow,” he said.

That said, the division’s pace of growth will slow, Yum CFO Chris Turner said during the call, as the brand stabilizes its same-store sales performance in emerging markets and optimizes site selection in tandem with franchisees by leveraging KFC and Pizza Hut market mapping data.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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