Taco Bell has a fun history of experimenting with all kinds of different wacky menu items. You might have seen one of their latest items: the Naked Egg Breakfast Taco. It’s pretty much what you would expect to get inside a breakfast taco, but with one key exception. The contents are literally shoved in between a fried egg, which acts as the taco’s “shell.”

Sound ridiculous to you? Well, it certainly is. Whether or not you’d actually eat one of these is entirely up to your own personal discretion (I haven’t tried one myself… yet). What I do want you to start thinking about though, is how you can learn something from what Taco Bell has been doing with their over-the-top eats.

Taco Bell’s old slogan used to be “Think Outside the Bun.” It may not be their current slogan, but it perfectly encapsulates many of their limited time (and some permanent) menu items. It’s also the ideal mentality to have if you’re trying to lure some curious foodies into your restaurant. Let’s look through a couple examples to get some inspiration.

One case of when Taco Bell thought outside the bun was earlier this year. Similarly titled to the Naked Egg Breakfast Taco, you may have heard of this one. I couldn’t possibly have avoided it on social media – even if I tried. I’m talking, of course, about the Naked Chicken Chalupa. Like the name implies, this taco’s shell was made entirely out of fried chicken. It was a total hit (and I totally missed out on it). They even followed that up with Naked Chicken Chips, which were simply just dippable triangles of fried chicken.

Another very popular example are the Doritos Locos Tacos. These have become a permanent fixture on Taco Bell’s menu, and are some of the earliest examples of how willing Taco Bell is to innovate for the sake of food. If you didn’t already know, the shells of the Doritos Locos Tacos are essentially giant Doritos.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for the nConnections blog on how Arby’s capitalized on the Game of Thrones finale by selling a limited-time turkey leg in celebration. There, I deposited that Arby’s effectively went viral by merely offering a one-off item, getting tons of coverage all over the web. The idea here is pretty similar.

One unique menu item can take you quite a long way. Try to think outside the bun. Make something unconventional. If you come up with just the right (ridiculous) entrée, you might just get people’s attention.

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Ever tried a totally ridiculous menu item? How’d it go? Sound off in the comments! 

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