Taco Bell starts business school for aspiring franchise owners

Taco Bell Business School will teach top-performing restaurant leaders how they can own and operate a franchise

Taco Bell is on a mission to help its employees level up their skills and maybe even own a restaurant franchise in the future with a specialized fast food school.

The global restaurant chain, which is owned by Yum! Brands, has established a Taco Bell Business School in Louisville, Kentucky. This "six-week business bootcamp" will teach top-performing restaurant leaders how they can level up their careers at Taco Bell through franchise ownership.

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Students who enroll in the Taco Bell Business School will learn critical business operations, entrepreneurship, financing, marketing, HR protocols and other growth and development skills – all from an accredited education and training program.

Taco Bell is rolling out a Taco Bell Business School in partnership with the University of Louisville, which will aim to teach restaurant leaders how they can own and operate a franchise. (Taco Bell)

Taco Bell developed this business school in partnership with the University of Louisville and existing franchisees to hopefully inspire a new generation of franchise owners. The courses will also leverage an established curriculum from Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence – a franchise education program designed to create pathways to small business ownership.

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"We know that fast food jobs are often seen as stepping stones to other careers. And we're trying to change that," said Taco Bell CEO Mark King, in a statement. "Through the Taco Bell Business School, we want to show our ambitious restaurant leaders how their careers could flourish at Taco Bell and see opportunities they may not have previously considered. We want to make foundational changes that positively impact our diverse team members' growth. This program will teach them skills they need to climb the ladder – whether that's moving up to the next level or even owning their own franchise one day."

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Team leaders who are accepted into the Taco Bell Business School will receive scholarships to cover tuition for the program in addition to internal acknowledgment and business school swag. 

Students who enroll in the Taco Bell Business School will learn critical business operations, entrepreneurship, financing, marketing, HR protocols and other growth and development skills. (iStock)

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The first class of Taco Bell Business School students will start their course sometime in February 2022.

"Restaurant leaders across Taco Bell are being recruited by their field leaders and Corporate, and are receiving communications encouraging them to apply through the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence at [the] University of Louisville," a spokesperson for Taco Bell told FOX Business. "Taco Bell is in the midst of the application process and the inaugural class has not yet been finalized."

Taco Bell developed its business school after the chain’s parent company launched the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence program last year with the University of Louisville's College of Business, which has focused on unlocking opportunities for underrepresented groups.

In a press release, Taco Bell said its franchise education initiatives have been launched to build a diverse talent pipeline and franchise system.

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Taco Bell sign and palm trees

The first class of Taco Bell Business School students will start their course in February 2022. (iStock)

Taco Bell included a statement from one of its franchisees – Tina Regan, president and COO of K-Mac Enterprises – to highlight the growth that could potentially happen for its business school students.

"When I first started working in a Taco Bell restaurant in 1983, I thought I would only stay for a few months," Reagan said. "Little did I know, I would end up staying for a few decades and eventually managing and operating 319 restaurants. As someone who started as a team member, I know firsthand that franchise ownership can be an intimidating path. But it's been very rewarding."

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Taco Bell isn’t the only fast food chain to start a business school for employee advancement. The  McDonald’s Corporation has its world-famous Hamburger University, which has been training managers and franchisees for over 60 years on how they can successfully run an independent McDonald’s restaurant.