The 12 Kinds Of People Who Dine At Taco Bell: Which One Are You?

Taco Bell. It's the kind of fast food restaurant that has a lot of haters. People love to make jokes about the low-quality food and the bathroom-related problems they're likely to experience after visiting the taco joint. And yet, the chain continues to experience incredible growth and success. In fact, in an article on CNBC published in April 2021, Taco Bell's brand reported an average same-store sales growth of 10% over a two-year period. That's pretty impressive. 

Now, could the growth be related to the brand's budget-friendly food during a time when people were reeling from job uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic? Perhaps. But also, it could be that Taco Bell is incredibly good at marketing to its target customers — and they're not afraid to position themselves as a brand that's catering to drunk, high, somewhat disheveled late-night munchers (the good ol' "Fourth Meal," right?). But even if you don't fall into one of those categories (you certainly don't have to be drunk to love a good bean burrito or breakfast taco), you likely fall into one of these 12 stereotypical Taco Bell customers.

The high schooler

High school tends to be most kids' first taste of freedom — some students have cars, others have friends with cars, and they all want to high-tail it off-campus to scout out a lunch that isn't served in the school's cafeteria. But another commonality of most high schoolers? They tend to be broke. Or nearly so. And Taco Bell's cheap eats are a lifesaver for those who end up needing to dig between the seats of their car to scrounge up a buck or two in change.

So, don't be surprised to see a group of these kids strolling in and paying in quarters around 11:30 to 1:30 on weekdays ... and after high school football games on Friday nights ... and even as a pre-date dinner for homecoming and prom. While the kids may be laughing at the "ironic" decision to eat tacos while wearing tuxes, the truth is, it might be all they can afford.

The late-night post-party college kid

There's really not much that separates high schoolers from college kids, aside from a couple of extra years. You still have young minds that are a little high on newfound freedom ... but whose food budgets (aside from the university meal plan) are painfully small. But there's always a little wiggle room for a night out drinking and a few post-closing time tacos (really, who needs exam scantrons and number two pencils when you can buy cheap beer and burritos?).

Not to mention, what college kid is going to turn down a 2 a.m. taco run when sleeping seems unimportant and a little late-night grease is practically guaranteed to help soak up the alcohol? Luckily, there's usually a Taco Bell or two well-positioned on the outskirts of campus, if not on the campus itself, so there's not even any need to waste gas money to hit up the fast food joint. 

The 4:20 stoner

Maybe they're a high schooler, or a college student, or hey, maybe they're just a remote worker taking a break from their computer for a mid-afternoon smoke. Regardless, when those post-marijuana munchies hit, Taco Bell makes for a pretty obvious snack spot. Sure, a bag full of Doritos at home might work just as well, but when the craving for a Doritos Locos taco hits, can you really argue with your stomach? Plus, there are so many options for munching on the cheap at Taco Bell: tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chalupas, nachos, and even sweet treats like cinnamon twists. No wonder Taco Bell came up with its $5 box of goodies filled with cheesy, crunchy, salty, and sweet choices practically guaranteed to destroy the post-toke munchies.

Don't be surprised if you see a slight uptick in somewhat dazed-looking customers sitting down to eat at Taco Bell in the late afternoon. They're a harmless bunch of stoners, just there to get their pot-inspired Mexican food fix.

The cool boss

When you see a dude in his mid-50s stroll into Taco Bell with a few young adults, generously saying, "Get whatever you want, guys! I just saw an ad for some new beefy, crunchy, wrappy thing — you guys know what I'm talking about!," you know you're witnessing "the cool boss." He could also be "the cool youth minister" or "the cool professor." He's the guy who technically knows he's "out of touch" with Gen Z, but he's got kids about the same age, so he's going to try his hardest to break down those generational barriers and "meet the kids where they're at." 

Which, in his eyes apparently, is Taco Bell. (He's not really wrong though, is he?) So after the whole crew orders their respective $5 meals, he'll pull out his company credit card and make a lame joke about, "Wow! These Taco Bell lunches may just drain our department funds!" before guiding the whole crew (trays in hand, like a teacher guiding kids at a field trip) to the window seats. There, they'll dig in for about 10 minutes before pulling out work folders to touch base on some key departmental goals. Because, after all, "You can't use the company credit card for a work lunch if there's no work involved!" (Or so he reminds his minions as they click open their pens.)

The breakfast burrito addict

There are those people who had never eaten at Taco Bell before the brand introduced its breakfast menu in 2014. And when Taco Bell put breakfast on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, these same addicts whooped for joy when the morning meals were reintroduced in September 2021. There's really nothing all that special about the breakfast menu — you get the same egg, sausage, bacon, cheese, and fried potato combos you find at pretty much any fast food joint, except that they're served wrapped in tortillas with a side of hot sauce instead of being served between a biscuit or English muffin.

And for those who love a good, greasy morning taco (or burrito)? Taco Bell does a bang-up job of delivering the goods. Typically, the breakfast customers are just a remix of the customers who visited Taco Bell the night before — the same drunk (now hungover) college students and young adults who pulled an all-nighter and need something to help them power through their workday or final exams. Expect somewhat disheveled adults with barely cracked-open eyes ordering a three-pack of burritos and the biggest coffee they can manage.

The social media stalker

Taco Bell is known for its relatable and fun social media content ... and for those in the know, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are where the hottest fast food news gets spread. So whether the local store is offering free tacos, or there's a nationwide release of a limited time offer, the social media stalker is ready to hit Taco Bell (and probably all the other fast food joints) as soon as the announcement hits the internet.

You'll know the stalker when you see him — he's got his eyes glued to his screen, with all the social media sites and apps at the ready. If a coupon is required, he's got it pulled up on his screen (and he's probably telling everyone in line they need to get it, too). And you better believe they'll be sharing their hot finds to their own social networks, hashtag, #TacoBell.

The 'bro' influencer

If you drew a Venn diagram of social media stalkers and "bro influencers" who go to Taco Bell, you'd definitely get some overlap. But "bro influencers" are unique in that they are decidedly the antithesis of the Kardashians. Their social media feeds are filled with "bro things," like lifting heavy weights, burping, practical jokes, and lots of beer. And there's little that fits in better with all the "bro-ing out" than a selfie of a bearded dude posing next to five Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supremes, an oversized soda, Nacho Fries, and Cinnamon Twists with the caption, "Bet you can't eat it all in less than 15 minutes! #dare #tacobell #livemas."

Will he actually eat it all in less than 15 minutes? Probably. And he'll add the link to the YouTube video after the fact. The real question is, does he have any followers? Maybe. But for him, it doesn't really matter. He's just going to keep on bro-ing, with or without the approval of the masses.

The athlete

Again, if you were to draw a Venn diagram of athletes, social media stalkers, and bro influencers, there would be an overlap between the three. Of course, not all athletes are bros, nor are they all into social media. But where there is a big overlap of Taco Bell customers between athletes and "bro" influencers is with the hard-working gym-goers who want to eat on the cheap.

After a tough workout, the athlete will show up at Taco bell, their stomach growling, and they'll quickly order enough tacos and burritos to feed a family of seven. You'll think to yourself, "Surely, this is for now and later ... or maybe tomorrow ..." But, no. They will sit right down and work their way through all 27 individual parts of the order. Not as a bet or a dare, but because "protein," something that beef, cheese, beans, and chicken all have in common.

The little league coach

For anyone who has ever played youth sports (especially those who aren't natural athletes), the best part of participation is the post-game sports drink and the end-of-season party, usually at a fast food spot or pizza joint. And for the little league coach on a budget, Taco Bell is hands-down one of the best stops for inexpensive, kid-friendly fare where everyone can fill up quickly. Chances are that the coach isn't actually the one footing the whole bill, but for all the kids and families tagging along to enjoy the trophy presentations with a side of tacos, it's generally a crowd-pleaser.

And even if the season took a turn for the worse and tanked out without a single tally in the "W" column, if there's a surefire way to get unexcited young athletes pumped to return for another season of play, it's a party with "bottomless" tacos. (They don't need to know they're not really bottomless ... kids usually cap out at two or three.)

The hot sauce fiend

There are people who rely on fast food joints for everyday household staples like napkins (handy for doubling as toilet paper when you forget to head to the store), salt, pepper, and ketchup packets, and plastic utensils. You can hardly blame those who take advantage ... all the "freebies" are just sitting there past the register like a veritable smorgasbord to pair with your $1 taco. 

For those who are fans of spicy food, the best place to "shop" for a week's worth (or more) of hot sauce is Taco Bell. With a quick order of a taco or two, you can waltz through the hot sauce area and grab fist-fulls of whichever hot sauce heat level meets your needs. If you're on the lookout for these hot sauce fiends, you may not be able to pick them out from the crowd, but you'll figure it out when they get up to leave — their pockets (or purses) will appear suspiciously full, and you'll hear a "swish-swish" of packets rubbing against each other as they leave the restaurant.

The health nut

This might come as a surprise, but Taco Bell isn't just for dude-bros chasing their Friday night beers with greasy, salty fare. In fact, for "health nuts" (quotes because it's still fast food) looking to eat a low-calorie, low-carb, or keto-friendly meal, there are an impressive number of options at Taco Bell. First, by ordering any order at Taco Bell "al fresco," you nix the higher-fat toppings like sour cream and cheese and instead enjoy more veggies like lettuce and tomatoes. 

Likewise, choices like the Power Bowl skip the carbs and load up on protein- and healthy fat-rich options like chicken, beef, black beans, and guacamole. Now, are these the kinds of health foods you'd find at Whole Foods or another organic outlet? Admittedly, probably not. There are reasons the food at Taco Bell is so cheap, and it's not just because there are so many daily customers. That said, for someone looking to fulfill their macros or hit a daily calorie goal, Taco Bell just might fit the bill.

The love to hater

One more of Taco Bell's frequent fliers, ironically, is the "love to hater." You know the type — they'll rag on the brand left and right, saying how unhealthy it is, how cheap the food is, how you'll end up stuck in the bathroom for days after a quick run through the drive-thru. And yet, despite all the vitriol, you're bound to find a few taco wrappers and Taco Bell bags — and quite possibly a handful of hot sauces — lurking under the seats of their car. 

The thing is, they know they're Taco Bell hypocrites. Taco Bell is their guilty pleasure. And though they'll talk about how they need to stop eating so much fast food, they apparently have absolutely no intention of kicking the habit. And really, as long as it's just an occasional bean burrito fix they're trying to fulfill, there really are worse things.