The 'Taco Tuesday' Phrase Belongs To Everyone

After a months-long legal beef between Taco John's and Taco Bell regarding the trademark of the phrase "Taco Tuesday," Taco John's has officially backed down. The brand has agreed to unshackle the phrase from its trademark, liberating the term for the world to utilize.

Perhaps with a little help from LeBron James, who went so far as to appear in a Taco Bell ad to liberate the phrase, Taco Bell was able to pressure the Wisconsin-based fast food chain into releasing its stranglehold on the popular term after decades of owning the trademark, per a report from CNN Business. According to insiders, executives at Taco John's, who previously stated that they were fully prepared to battle Taco Bell in court for as long as it takes in order to retain their 34-year-long patent, decided the fight against the Baja Blast vendor was not worth the legal fees.

This heel-turn seems to play in stark contrast to the chain's initial response to Taco Bell's act of auguachile aggression. When first petitioned to release their grip on the trademark, Taco John's saw fit to stoke the flames of "Taco Tuesday" freedom fighters by offering a deal of two tacos for only $2 through the second half of May, effectively marking that period as one long Taco Tuesday celebration.

Where does the term Taco Tuesday come from?

Though the phrase seems as ancient as tacos and Tuesdays alike to our modern ear, the slogan was actually brought into popular culture by Taco John's marketing strategy as recently as the 1980s. Since 1989, Taco John's has owned the copyright of the phrase in 49 states of America, with New Jersey being the only holdout. This comes as a surprise to many Taco Tuesday enthusiasts around the country as Taco John's only holds locations in 23 states, meaning most Americans don't even live within driving distance of the fast food vendor.

Apparently, the term began as a promotional gimmick to increase sales on the fast food chain's slowest business day. The marketing department cooked up the alliterative expression and used it to offer deals and branding in an attempt to make Tuesdays synonymous with delicious Mexican cuisine.

Of course, in the decades since the phrase was first crafted, many people all over the world have colloquially utilized the term to signify tacos from any chain or region. This permeation of Taco Tuesday as a phrase is what initially led Taco Bell to pursue the use of the term in its own branding, following in the footsteps of many other business entities that have petitioned Taco John's to relinquish the trademark in the past.

As a measure of good faith, Taco John's CEO Jim Creel announced that the chain will be donating $40,000 to the Children of Restaurant Employees non-profit.