The former Taco Bell president and CEO, John Martin, passed away in January leaving behind a foodservice legacy which lives on through the rapidly expanding fast food chain.
When he joined Taco Bell at the helm of the company in 1983, he quickly doubled sales in just three years whilst also expanding Taco Bell’s worldwide presence.
During his time at the fast-food chain, then owned by PepsiCo, Martin streamlined kitchen operations by adding drive-thru windows and introduced 59-cent tacos.
In 1989, he unveiled “K-Minus,” in which kitchen footprints were reduced in size and altered for assembly-line production using prepared ingredients.
This, in turn, pushed the chain towards its prominent strategy of value pricing.
The company said: “John Martin was a visionary pioneer whose leadership helped build Taco Bell into one of the most successful restaurant brands today, and ultimately introduced Mexican-inspired food now loved by millions.”
Under his leadership, the brand modernized restaurants with state-of-the-art technology that improved the speed of service and introduced several industry firsts.
Martin initiated free drink refills and a three-tiered value menu to ensure customers never had to compromise on quality and flavor.
The company added: “John’s legacy and growth mindset live on at Taco Bell restaurants across the globe today, he will be truly missed.”
Martin’s innovations helped transform Taco Bell from a $600m regional chain to a household-name with almost $5bn in annual sales.