Food & Drink

The Taco Bell innovation team eats all day, comes up with 4,000 ideas a year

Taco Bell waffle taco
David Hall

We're sorry to crush your childhood dreams, but the coolest job in the world is no longer Whiskey Tester or Velociraptor. It's Taco Bell "innovation team" member, and here's why, via this Businessweek profile:

  • They're never not eating. Taco Bell's chief food and beverage innovation officer says it's not unusual to house 3,000cal before 10am, and people joke about the "Taco Bell 12" (think Freshman 15) so much, they had to install an on-site gym.
  • On Fridays, they wreak havoc on nearby markets in the "grocery store hustle" to see what's new on shelves. We imagine it's like Supermarket Sweep, but with less crying.
  • They tackle 4,000 to 4,500 ideas per year, and test about 300-500 on the public.
  • You know they're sipping that blocked beer milkshake and laughing at us.

Of course, not everyone can be a Taco Bell menu innovator -- the team's comprised of only 40 elite employees. But at least you've got your backup career as a beer professor to fall back on.

Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and is still working towards her dream job of becoming Parade magazine's first and only controversial reporter. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.