Riding the high of a fevered public reception to its Doritos Locos tacos, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed announced that the new line of chip cheese-dusted comestibles kicked up sales enough that the company added 15,000 workers to the payroll. That’s the claim, anyway, which Creed spun into a talking point about social responsibility and warm fuzzy feelings.
“It’s very possible because two things happened,” Creed told ABC News. “One is we grew the business, and that’s great, it makes us feel really good. It’s great we sold lots of tacos and it’s great for our shareholders, but if we can get 15,000 people off the unemployment line and give them jobs–that to me is giving back to society. That is having a social conscience in doing the right thing. That’s really important thing.”
“That’s the claim. Some question remains about the accuracy and significance of that jobs figure, however. As Slate put it:
““The observation here is that Doritos Locos tacos helped lead to surging Taco Bell sales, then Taco Bell added a lot of staff to meet that rising demand. And good for Taco Bell. But presumably some large fraction of those sales either displaced sales at other fast food establishments or else displaced nonfood purchases.”
“Factor in quality of employment and maybe the news loses some luster. A recent PayScale survey found that most fast food workers aren’t all gung-ho about serving up calorie bombs to the American public.
“We asked fast food employees if they felt their job makes the world a better place. More than 38 percent said no, actually, they feel it makes the world worse. Maybe it’s the nation’s obesity epidemic and the industry’s proven waist-expanding side-effects.
“Creed says he understands the gravity of that public health threat and, despite excitement over the success of his nutritionally vacuous Dorito-inspired tacos, the fast food chain will try to beef up its healthy menu options.
“Still, the Diet Fresco menu’s lower-calorie cheeseless offerings are unlikely to demand as fervid a reception as the impending release of the chili-lime Doritos Flamas.
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