How Taco Bell Tricks You Into Paying More For Your Meal

Whether you are on a budget, looking for some food to satisfy the late night munchies, or are just a fan of making a run for the border for some nacho cheese Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell's menu offers a wide variety of options on the cheap. That's why we love this fast food chain. We know when we roll through the drive-thru of our favorite pseudo-Mexican food restaurant we can get off spending as little as a couple of bucks or up to $5 — or maybe $7 tops — if we are looking to full-on feast. 

This is even more true if you take advantage of the value menu where everything is just a buck. Taco Bell is at the top of the fast food mountain when it comes to affordability. And they push a tremendous volume. In fact, per Food Beastthe fast food chain sells a huge amount of tacos and burritos each year. Taco Bell wraps up 2 billion tacos and 1 billion burritos for its customers to enjoy.

However, have you ever ordered something at Taco Bell and expected to pay a certain amount, but wound up paying more? It can happen. Taco Bell is a bit of a trickster in how it gets you to pay more for your meal than you might have anticipated. How do they do this? 

Taco Bell charges extra when you customize

When you are ordering up your favorite tacos at this go-to spot, caveat emptor if you decide to personalize them and ask for extra cheese or guacamole. Taco bell charges extra when you customize your meal with "add-ons." These extras include everything from lettuce and onions, to beans and cheese, to steak and chicken, and they range in price depending on where your Taco Bell is located. Everything can be made to order and the Bell encourages its patrons to "re-invent" their favorite menu items with the array of sauces and toppings they offer (via Taco Bell). 

It definitely adds up when it comes time to pay. And if you order your Chalupa, nachos, tacos, and 7-layer burrito using the fast food chain's app, per Bloomberg, you can expect to pay 20 percent more than if you had gone into the brick and mortar restaurant and placed your order with the cashier. During an investor's meeting, Taco Bell shared that a decent amount of that increase in price comes from the add-ons with the most ordered extras being onions, sour cream, nacho cheese, and creamy jalapeño sauce. But on the flip side, using the app gives you access to more menu items you may not have known existed in the Taco Bell universe.