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Taco Bell hosts business competition

The Irvine-based fast food chain encourages local teens to ‘Graduate to Go.’

By Karly BarkerPublished: August 26, 2011 10:19 AM

Irvine-based fast food restaurant chain, Taco Bell hosted a business competition this week as part of the company’s Graduate to Go Teen Foundation. Over 75 local members of the Boys and Girls Club competed in the competition, which required them to create a new Taco Bell menu item.

“We are basically walking them through soup to nuts on all the careers that exist here at Taco Bell,” said Bob Fulmer, executive director of Taco Bell’s Foundation for Teens. “Everything from food science, to marketing, to finance all the way to being a franchisee.”

In two days, the student teams worked with the food lab, marketing personnel, finance teams and franchisers, among others, to create a new menu item. Each team was required to present their product, financial strategies and marketing campaign to a panel. Local franchisers were brought in as both taste testers and judges of each teams presentations. The winning team received $5,000 in scholarships along with a menu item, which will be featured in the Taco Bell headquarters company store.

“Our foundation is all about inspiring teens to stay in school and graduate from high school,” said Fulmer. “We have found that the best way to do that is expose them to careers or fun events or college experiences, and then teenagers will choose for themselves. If they don’t know what is out there, they won’t chase anything. But once they are inspired, then they will make their own decision and stay in school.”

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