IRVINE, Texas - Taco Bell has just hit a new low, announcing plans last week for a $2 combo meal, USA Today reports.
The companyï¿½ï¿½s $2 Meal Deal will include a taco or burrito, a medium soft drink and a bag of Doritos, earning the QSR chain the distinction of being the only national chain selling an entrÃ©e, side dish and drink for $2.
"This is certainly thinking outside the bun," said Bob Sandelman, CEO of restaurant research firm Sandelman & Associates. "I'm sure McDonald's will be watching with interest."
Taco Bell's $2 combo meals sharply undercut McDonald's Dollar Menu, where three items cost $3.
"If we just tossed a pebble into the pond, the ripple wouldn't find its way to shore," explained Greg Creed, president of Taco Bell. "We're throwing a boulder into the pond. This will be a disrupter in the marketplace."
Besides the drink and Doritos, consumers will choose from among four entrÃ©e items: Chicken Burrito, Double Decker Taco, Gordita Supreme, and 5-Layer Burrito.
"Our customers really need us now," said David Ovens, Taco Bellï¿½ï¿½s marketing chief. "They love the fact that we're doing this ï¿½" even if they can't understand how."
Taco Bellï¿½ï¿½s same-store sales dipped 2% in the latest quarter, with combo meals accounting for 24% of all sales.
When reached for comment, a McDonaldï¿½ï¿½s spokesperson said that the company was not impressed.
"Our research shows that we consistently rank among the best in the industry in consumers' perceptions of value," spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling told the newspaper.