Taco Bell credited funnyman Pete Davidson for helping the fast-food giant shake the perception that its breakfast menu is a joke.
The former “Saturday Night Live” star and ex-beau of Kim Kardashian helped sales of Taco Bell’s morning items soar, the YUM Brands-owned company said on an investor call Thursday.
“Taco Bell brought in Pete Davidson to help drive consumer buzz for breakfast,” YUM chief executive David Gibbs. “This led to 9% transaction growth” for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
Davidson appeared in several light-hearted ads where was the punchline after he was hired as “Brand Apologist” in October.
“Sometimes we go too far. I have — and that’s why Taco Bell has hired me to make an apology for them,” the then-platinum-color haired Davidson said in one advertisement.
Taco Bell has had plenty of its own breakfasts bomb, including the Naked Egg Taco and the Waffle Taco.
“We honestly over-innovated in breakfast,” Sean Tresvant, Taco Bell’s chief brand officer, told CNN last year.
Now the chain is sticking to basic breakfast items like different combinations of eggs, sausage and cheese – and the plan is working.
Taco Bell was the standout winner of YUM’s four brands – Pizza Hut, KFC, Habit Burger – with 11% grown in comparable store sales for the quarter. Wall Street analyst had expected 6.5% growth.
“Overall, Taco Bell did a terrific job this quarter…boosting the company’s fourth quarter earnings results,” Gibbs crowed on the earnings call.
It also launched Mexican Pizzas, selling 45 million of them in just the last four months of 2022, the company said.