The Business Planning Cycles of the Food Service Industry: With Case Studies

Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Chipotle are profiled in this report with a goal of pinpointing when their business or strategic planning sessions are held. Based on the news articles sampled, Taco Bell appears to hold its planning meetings in Q3 and Q4, while Wendy’s is more focused on Q4; Chipotle appears to have meetings throughout the year based on a steady stream of significant announcements in each quarter.

Taco Bell

  • Taco Bell announced in July 2020 that it would be revamping its menu to optimize it for popularity and prepare for a fresh new wave of offerings beginning in 2021.
  • In August 2019, Taco Bell announced it would be cutting its combo menu in half by September.
  • In December 2019, Taco Bell announced its upcoming menu changes for the coming year, including adding more $1 menu options.
  • In December 2018, Taco Bell announced its $5 Cravings menu that would be live in 2019.
  • Fries were added at Taco Bell in January 2018, signifying a last-minute menu addition.
  • Based on the pattern of announcing changes in the second half of the year (to take effect later in the year or in the beginning of the following year), Taco Bell appears to do its business planning in mid-to-late summer.

Wendy’s

Chipotle

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