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Taco Bell and McDonald's Both Make the Same Big Bet

Both fast-food chains are betting that they know what you want in these financially challenging times.

While fast food restaurants have always catered to customers looking for a quick meal on the cheap, these suburban rest stops have a new kind of challenge on their hands in the current economic climate.

With once rock-solid tech companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Alphabet making layoffs affecting thousands and the shadow of recession fears darkening the horizon, many consumers who weren't eating fast food as often before may be doing so now.

Many companies have made pivots to adjust to the situation, turning to free food deals, tweaks to their value menus, and more to appeal to customers. 

It's also been a great opportunity for fast food chains to drive traffic to use their apps to get free food and other perks earned via loyalty status.

But the key to staying fresh in the fast food world is change -- and now McDonald's  (MCD) - Get Free Report and Yum Brands'  (YUM) - Get Free Report Taco Bell are doing just that with new offers.

Taco Bell Mexican Pizza Lead JS

Taco Bell and McDonald's Add New App Deals

With Taco Bell's great Mexican Pizza debacle of 2022 finally in the rearview, the company is using the rampant popularity of the item for a new deal to push customers towards using its app.

Placing a delivery order via the Taco Bell app for $15 or more between January 20 and February 1 gets you a free Mexican Pizza of your choice (both meat and veggie options are available), Chewboom reports.

Taco Bell has also turned to offering several items exclusively via its app that are not on its regular menu, including the Quesarito and the My Cravings box.

Not to be left out, McDonald's is also offering a new deal for its devoted breakfast fans: two McGriddles for $3.50.

The deal is good at "select" locations, according to the Fast Food Post. An inquiry to McDonald's to confirm which ones offer the deal has not been returned as of this writing.

Fast-Food Space IsMore Competitive Than Ever

While dining out has been on the decline since 2022, many fast food brands are doing better than ever -- McDonald's being on the top of the heap, with Starbucks in second place.

However, some companies are losing ground, most notably Burger King and Popeyes. The former continues to perform well in international markets, but fell 0.5% in same store sales in the U.S. in 2022.

To address the issue, Restaurant Brands International announced a $400 million rebrand for Burger King in September 2022, with $150 million going into marketing and $250 million going to restaurant remodels and upgrades.

While Popeyes has struggled to regain ground since its infamous chicken sandwich spiked its sales in 2019, it's experimenting with bringing back old hits such as its Ghost Pepper Wings, as well as debuting two new desserts, a blueberry lemon pie, and a strawberry cheesecake.

Like the other brands, Popeyes has also seen promising results in driving customers to order through its app.

"That [the app] helped us go from 0% digital sales to almost 20% of our sales coming from digital just three years late," Popeyes President Sami Siddiqui told TheStreet in .