$1 Menu Returns to Fast Food

Taco Bell testing new low cost menu

By Consumer Bob
|  Tuesday, May 7, 2013  |  Updated 3:01 PM PDT
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Some fast food chains may lower their prices soon. NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob talks to SDSU marketing professor George Belch about what it means for people who dine out.

Some fast food chains may lower their prices soon. NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob talks to SDSU marketing professor George Belch about what it means for people who dine out.

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Zeke Garcia goes to Taco Bell to save money.

"I want the cheapest food, something that is going to fill me up," said Garcia. So when he heard that Taco Bell is test marketing a new dollar menu called "$1 Cravings," he was ready to try it out.

But there's a problem, Zeke is in San Diego and the Taco Bell is testing the menu in Kansas City and Sacramento. But some industry analyst say the new cheaper prices are on their way.

"How do you increase your store sales? Get more people in the store," said San Diego State marketing professor George Belch. He says fast food giants like Taco Bell and Jack in the Box need to cover all price point of the market. And expanding the number of items selling for a dollar can bring in younger customers.

"I think this is more a response to consumer demand," said Belch.

Eric Ouren was in the drive-in lane at the Taco Bell in Chula Vista, what does he think of a new dollar menu?

"I will drive an extra two or three blocks if I can save $2 or $3 on an order," he said.

But Taco Bell has already had tremendous success with its Doritos Locos Tacos and an afternoon discount menu called "Happier Hour," so why would they risk losing money on an expanded dollar menu?

Taco Bell is hoping, "that people come in with the intention of buying a 99¢ item, maybe I'll buy two, maybe I'll buy a drink to go with it," said George Belch, who says it's all about generating store traffic.

The menu will increase the traffic from Kathy Herdt.

"I have grand kids now and you would like to take them out and it is expensive to just try and grab a lunch," she said.

There is no word when Taco Bell is expand its "$1 Cravings" menu, or if other fast food restaurants will match the cheaper alternative.

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