The Taco That Built 15,000 Jobs

Image credit: Yum! Brands Inc.

It may take a village to raise a child. But all it takes to raise employment is a taco.

That seems to be the situation at Taco Bell, anyway, which added 15,000 employees last year, company chief executive Greg Creed told the Daily Beast, largely on one new product.

Creed attributes the success to Doritos Locos Tacos, which the company rolled out in March, 2012 and was the "biggest launch in Taco Bell history," he told the Beast. Throughout 2012, the 170-calorie taco, whose shell is made from a nacho cheese Doritos in a collaboration with Frito-Lay, 375 million were gobbled up, which averages out to about one million per day.

But why stop there? On March 7, it launched Cool Ranch Dorito Locos Tacos. The slogan: "Collect All Two."

"We believe we can add 2,000 new restaurants in the next 10 years, because what we have is proprietary and exclusive. Nobody else can make a Cool Ranch Doritos Taco. And that's just in the U.S.," Creed told the Beast. Creed was traveling today and unavailable to talk to ABC News, a spokesman said.

Industry watchers attribute the success to smart managerial practices as well as the new delicacy. "One product can definitely improve the fortunes of one company," said Matthew Ong, a retail analyst with McDonald's McRib sandwich, for example, attracts a cult following similar to Locos Tacos, and drives traffic to McDonald's restaurants in the same way the Dorito brings fans to Taco Bell.

"While I can't independently verify the veracity of Taco Bell's stated numbers, the volume of jobs created is possible due to Taco Bell's existing infrastructure," he added. "Having a solid internal organization allows a company like Taco Bell to quickly scale up operations when it does hit upon a fantastic product like Doritos Locos Tacos."

Taco Bell is part of Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Ky. It's one of the world's largest restaurant companies with more than 39,000 locations in 125 countries. Its brands include KFC and Pizza Hut.