Taco Bell Breakfast Can Thank Pete Davidson For Its Early-Morning Surge

When you think of the ideal restaurant to go for a delicious bite to eat before work in the morning, Taco Bell may not spring to the top of your mind. However, one unlikely actor may have changed that. The chain's breakfast items include a Crunchwrap with cheesy eggs and bacon and grilled burritos with a variety of eggy fillings — maybe not as popular as a late-night Cheesy Gordita Crunch, but likely still worth a trip to the drive-thru.

After putting its breakfast menu on a brief pause during the pandemic, Taco Bell needed to find a way to give its breakfast sales a much needed boost. While competitor McDonald's has reported its breakfast sales make up as much as 25% of its total revenue, Taco Bell's made up just 6%, per CNN.

This need to rejuvenate the public's interest in the Taco Bell breakfast menu is exactly what inspired the chain to hire popular comedian Pete Davidson, who starred in an ad campaign apologizing for the brand's less successful breakfast items of the past. 

Davidson boosted Taco Bell sales by 14%

The clever commercial features Davidson strolling through a Taco Bell location as he tells the audience that he has been hired by the fast food chain to help them apologize for "going too far" with some of its previous breakfast creations. Images of the brand's short-lived Naked Egg Taco and Waffle Taco flash across the screen, both items that didn't fare too well with breakfast lovers. 

Davidson is then shown conversing with one of the restaurant's cashiers as he states that what Taco Bell breakfast customers need is "tasty, simple food," a sentiment shared by Taco Bell's chief executive brand officer, Sean Tresvant: "When you look at today's consumer and the fast food breakfast business, it's about familiarity and it's about comfort," he stated to CNN.

Though some Redditors complained about how frequently they saw the ad when it first came out, that repetition appears to have been effective: Since airing Davidson's commercials, Taco Bell has reported a 9% increase in sales of certain breakfast items, which also led to a 14% increase in total sales for Taco Bell's U.S. locations. Based on the YouTube comments on the ad, not everyone thought the Waffle Taco warranted an apology. Still, given the success of Davidson's "genius" ad campaign, we wouldn't be surprised to see the former SNL star return to appear in future Taco Bell commercials.