Well, Taco Bell’s entry in the Chicken Sandwich wars only lasted a month. And I suspect I know why.
From an article in Baking Business:
Taco Bell’s new Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco is “not quite a sandwich, not quite a taco,” the Yum! Brands, Inc. subsidiary said. The taco features all-white meat crispy chicken marinated in jalapeño buttermilk, seasoned with Mexican spices and rolled in a crunchy tortilla chip coating. The chicken is served on a warm flatbread folded into a taco form and flavored with Taco Bell’s creamy chipotle sauce. The taco may be ordered regular or spicy with the addition of crunchy jalapeño slices.
I love chicken sandwiches, and I’ve long enjoyed Chick-fil-A’s offering but I’m not in favor of their social policies, so I’ve kept my antenna up for alternatives. Apparently Popeye’s has a relatively good one, but we live in the northeast so I’m out of luck until I can manage to get south of the Mason-Dixon line.
So when Taco Bell started offering these, I had to try one. We went twice, and my wife liked hers; then we went to another location and this is what happened:
I ordered from their online menu and customized the item with tomatoes and onions – but what I got was light-years from what they advertised. Instead of a puffy flatbread, they used a standard flour tortilla, and instead of three chicken tenders, there was only one, with a piddling amount of plain cheese sauce. Bitterly disappointed, to say the least.
Others had similar experiences, but at least theirs came in the advertised flatbread and looked a lot better than the one I was served.
Next time I swung past Taco Bell, I noticed that the item had vanished from the menu. If franchises were having difficulty consistently preparing this item in a satisfactory manner, it’s no wonder they pulled it. According to a Taco Bell spokesperson,
“The Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco was a limited time menu offering. Innovation is core to Taco Bell and offering some menu items as limited time offers allows room on menus for even more new, craveable creations for fans. Like all great limited time menu items from Taco Bell, there’s always a chance we can see it return to menus.”
If they bring it back, they are going to have to make sure their stores can get the right ingredients and know how to prepare it properly, or else this will happen with greater frequency, the result of a little feedback to Corporate Headquarters:
Don’t get me wrong, I know that fast food is a challenging business, and consistency and quality across franchises can be a bedeviling task – but it’s probably one of the most important thing any national chain can focus on.
I still love Taco Bell for a fast, cheap, filling, and tasty meal. And it’s not like they haven’t weathered storms before.
The Old Wolf has spoken.