I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself when I say there’s nothing I take more seriously than Mexican food. If I had to choose a cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, it would be Mexican without a second thought. Recently, Taco Bell was voted the best Mexican restaurant in the country — and people online have a lot to say about it.
The Harris Poll EquiTrend Study surveyed 77,031 U.S. consumers who were at least 15 years old about their favorite restaurants based on quality, familiarity and future considerations. This year, Taco Bell beat out restaurants such as Chipotle and Moe’s Southwest Grill to win “Brand of the Year” for the Mexican restaurant category.
The director of the survey, Amir Kanpurwala, wasn’t surprised about the results.
“Taco Bell’s marketing is ubiquitous so it wasn’t surprising to me that they came out on top this year. It’s not so much that Moe’s or Chipotle are falling off the map. Taco Bell has just been a stronger brand as of late, as demonstrated by the strong familiarity and consideration marks,” Kanpurwala said in a press release.
That’s a fair point. Taco Bell is constantly rolling out new items, keeping the company fresh on the brains of fast food diners. In 2018 alone, Taco Bell launched Nacho Fries, Rattlesnake Nacho Fries, Reaper Nacho Fries, a French Toast Chalupa, a watermelon freeze drink and more to keep customers coming back.
By the looks of it, their marketing tactics paid off. But there are many who disagree with the poll results, and they took to Twitter to voice their concerns:
Twitter user @nerdpokemon91 let a gif illustrate the confusion surrounding the news:
When they say taco bell is the best Mexican restaurant of 2018 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/nixsUydCQF
— Clips (@clipsthenerd) September 13, 2018
And Twitter user @MrRon9 felt that they were speaking on behalf of the entire southwest by disagreeing with this vote:
The whole southwest region of the US disagrees with this here. Lol
— Ron Tatum (@MrRon9) September 13, 2018
The main issue seems to be that Taco Bell is not “authentic” Mexican food, but rather a fast food version of the cuisine, as Twitter user @UberHatinCabbie pointed out by comparing the win to Chef Boyardee hypothetically winning for a best Italian food category:
I'll betcha Chef Boyardee wins best Italian food category!
— Big Cab John (@UberHatinCabbie) September 13, 2018
Of course, there are Taco Bell supporters who absolutely stand by the restaurant chain.
Twitter user @laurelworlds wrote, “I love Taco Bell. I don’t care it’s fast food. [T]he quality is so much better than other fast food places”:
I love Taco Bell. I don't care it's fast food. the quality is so much better than other fast food places.
— Laurel A Rockefeller (@laurelworlds) September 14, 2018
Meanwhile, Twitter user @Nati09 is a true fan and is “low key happy for their win,” despite the outrage from others:
— Natalie Platypus (@Nati09) September 17, 2018
Twitter user @anamarianene said that even her dad agrees that Taco Bell has a good menu:
Clearly, people aren’t messing around when it comes to their Mexican food. It’s no joking matter, and you’re either Team Taco Bell or you’re not — plain and simple.
What side are you on in this great debate?