The Reason Potato Orders At Taco Bell Take So Long

Potatoes are a favorite carb for many people. Just think of all the food possibilities it offers, simply by how you cook, shred, or cut them. You can fry them, mash them, bake them, or grill them. Many fast food restaurants get it, which is why they offer various items with potatoes in them. Taco Bell is one of these restaurants.

For the cheese-loving Taco Bell fans, there's the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes. And for those you don't mind spicy, there's also the Spicy Potato Soft Taco. The problem, though, is that the wait time can sometimes be noticeably longer when you order these items than if you ordered something without potatoes.

The question is, why? Why do potato orders take so long at Taco Bell? If it's a fast food restaurant, shouldn't everything you order be made ... well ... fast? While this is true with some ingredients, potatoes aren't one of them.

Potatoes take time to cook

If you've ever cooked potatoes before, whether it was for mashed potatoes or homemade French fries, you likely know that you need to be patient. A potato isn't something that will be ready in two minutes, not even in the microwave. And it's no different at a fast food restaurant. Cooking them takes time, which is why ordering those Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes or Spicy Potato Soft Tacos can sometimes leave you waiting a little longer at the drive thru.

Liz Matthews, the global chief food innovation officer of Taco Bell, addressed the topic of time and potatoes in an interview with CNN Business. If you're a fan of the restaurant, you may recall that potato items were stripped from its menu in 2020, when the pandemic forced dining areas to close. The chain's FAQs page claims this decision was made "due to menu simplification efforts." In other words, they were eliminated because they took a long time to prepare at a time when drive-thru traffic was heavier than pre-pandemic times, Matthews explained.

And if you're wondering just how long those Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes take to make, Mythical Kitchen's Josh Scherer shared an at-home version of the recipe on TikTok. Total bake time? About forty minutes, plus the cutting and seasoning time. This, of course, doesn't mean that potatoes are made fresh for every single Taco Bell potato order, but it could mean some customers will place an order before a new batch is ready. Hence, the wait time.