Taco Bell's Big Menu Cuts Start Today

The petition to protect the potatoes has failed.

Tony Merevick/Thrillist
Tony Merevick/Thrillist

When Taco Bell confirmed reports last month that it's "revamping" its menu, consumers squinted. We'd heard that corporate jargon before, when the chain not-so-quietly killed off nine popular menu items in 2019.

But "revamping" in our COVID-controlled 2020 seems to be one of necessity, not one of psychological disregard. According to an explanation from the Chalupa-slinging fast food chain, the new menu cuts are an attempt to "simplify" restaurant operations and prioritize safety. 

"Beginning August 13, we will be simplifying our menu to streamline operations," Taco Bell said in a July 17 press release. "This evolved menu approach comes after months of analyzing the new way we are running our restaurants. With safety top of mind, we want to ensure an easy and fast ordering experience for our guests and team members."

If you didn't see at the time, here are the menu items that will be removed starting on Thursday:

  • Grilled Steak Soft Taco
  • 7-Layer Burrito
  • Nachos Supreme
  • Beefy Fritos Burrito
  • Spicy Tostada
  • Triple Layer Nachos
  • Spicy Potato Soft Taco
  • Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes
  • Cheesy Potato Loaded Griller
  • Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller
  • Chips and Guacamole
  • Chips and Pico De Gallo
  • Mini Skillet Bowl (breakfast)

FYI, the Quesarito is also leaving the in-store menu, but will still be available to order online or via the app. 

The new Taco Bell menu as of August 13. | Courtesy of Taco Bell

Sure, most of these options aren't ranked highly on a list of every single Taco Bell menu item (the highest ranking of the bunch is Nachos Supreme at no. 7), but fans have a right to be upset -- just because some relatives aren't your first or fifth favorite doesn't mean you want them to be exiled by the family. Some of the menu items that are getting removed, like your sixth favorite cousin, have uniquely redeeming qualities; namely, they feature potatoes. A spokesperson confirmed to Thrillist that Taco Bell is completely removing potatoes from the menu.

Suffice it to say that vegans and vegetarians are pissed by their newly reduced options, especially considering Taco Bell has been slow to the plant-based train, having only promised the introduction of plant-based meat by the end of this year. Black Bean Crunchwraps will just have to do for now.

The Taco Bell spokesperson's statement to Thrillist sounds much like a mother talking a young child down from a tantrum sparked by a menu selling only seafood and white truffle pizza. 

"While change is hard, our menu will still feature our two original plant-based proteins, black beans and pinto beans," the rep said, sounding like a parent convincing her child that a restaurant menu without chicken fingers is still worth considering. "A simplified menu will leave room for continued innovation across all categories."

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Ruby Anderson is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send your tips to randerson@thrillist.com.