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IRVINE, Calif. -- The bell tolls for kids' meals at Taco Bell. The Mexican-inspired, fast-food chain announced today that it will discontinue the Kid's Meal Menu and toys at its U.S. restaurants, becoming the first national quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain to do so.
Select restaurants will begin to remove the Kid's Meal Menu this month, with nationwide implementation anticipated by January 2014, Taco Bell Corp. stated in a news release.
"As we continue our journey of being a better, more relevant Taco Bell, kids' meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind," said CEO Greg Creed. "What does make sense is concentrating on expanding choices that meet and exceed the diverse needs of consumers of all ages, without losing focus on what makes us great today."
The company also said that kids' meals are not part of Taco Bell's long-term brand strategy and have an insignificant impact on sales. Rather, the fast-food chain will continue to focus on its new menu options such as Doritos Locos Tacos, the Cantina Bell Menu and more balanced menu choices.
"Pioneering this change on our menu is a bold move for our industry, and it makes sense for Taco Bell," said Creed. "We'll be able to better focus on creating new and inventive items that our customers love."
Items on the Kid's Meal Menu, including the Crunchy Taco, Soft Taco, Bean Burrito and Cheese Roll-Up, will continue to be available individually on the chain's regular menu.
Taco Bell Corp. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc., and has a network of more than 350 franchise organizations that operate nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States.