Secret Document Reveals How To Be A Taco Bell Superstar!

If you, like so many grade-school children, dreamed of one day working at Taco Bell, but worried whether you had the technical aptitude to master their complex procedures and delicate processes, study this Taco Bell insider document, snagged by ANIMAL, and possibly the most scintillating of all the leaked materials we have ever posted, and you’ll have a leg up on all the former i-bankers clamoring for the same position. Flowchart in full glory, inside…


Taco Bell Training Illustration: Not Fit for Public Consumption [ANIMAL]


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  1. MikeB says:

    Too funny that this came up today. My youngest (6 years old) told us yesterday that his 3rd job is going to be a the Bell. 1st at Burger King, 2nd at Moes Southwest Grill. That he was going to live in our current house and since he didn’t know how to drive we were going to take him to and from work…..

  2. I like the term “suggestive sell.”

    I was at Applebee’s last week, and the bartender tried to sell me the “tub o’ beer.” I said to him, after he asked twice, that I appreciated the effort he was putting into the upsell but that I wasn’t interested and that he’d get a better tip if he stopped asking.

    He did and got 20%. God bless America!

  3. ErinYay says:

    I am so glad they outlined what kind of smile one should give a customer. Usually I get the kind that expresses misery and self-loathing.

  4. Smitherd says:

    Am I the only one who noticed the section labeled “POS Abbreviations” in the lower-right corner?

  5. whatdoyoucare says:

    Looks pretty good to me. Especially the “LAST” emblem. I think it says Listen, Appologize, Satisfy and Thank. Every CSR should have that posted by his/her desk!

  6. CRNewsom says:

    This seems to me to be the most reasonable of the scripted training I have seen. There are some places that consistently try to upsell you on new products. This seems to make sure you have a tasty beverage to go with your meal.

    A drink? I had almost forgotten. I would like a Baja Blast Mountain Dew, if you please…

  7. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Taco Bell stores their beef in giant garbage bags. When they need to re-fill the beef, they cut a corner in a bag and squeeze it out like a huge turd.

  8. Ghede says:

    @HappyPuppy: There are worse smiles. I’ve seen smiles that look as though the employee wants to skin me alive and eat my internal organs. Sharp, sharp teeth.

  9. friendlynerd says:

    My guess is “point of sale” but my 10-year old mind went there immediately too.

  10. ptkdude says:

    I like how they’re supposed to ask how you are today, but they aren’t supposed to ask for your order. If I actually went to the Taco Bell drive thru, I would answer “ok” and then wait for them to ask for my order.

  11. FLConsumer says:

    Despite cartoon flowcharts that a 3rd grader could understand….the fast food workers STILL screw it up. How?!?! The scary part is that many of the fast food workers are of voting age.

  12. Hauler says:

    @Smitherd: I got a little chuckle out of that.

  13. djanes1 says:

    Bean Burritos are like Huckabees to me.

  14. Saboth says:

    “Thank you. I have verify order. Dots. That comes to dollar sign. Dots. Please pull to the window.”

    Am I superstar material?

  15. laserjobs says:

    Hey that guy looks caucasian

  16. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Apparently, “POS” means “parent over shoulder” to some kids. I always took it as “piece of ****”.

  17. CRNewsom says:

    @FLConsumer: You’re just now noticing this? I have been weeping for our future for a number of years now, and I’m not even 30.

    Wearing your pants down to your knees is just sad. I saw a guy downtown the other day crossing the street with one hand holding his pants up. The sad thing is he was walking into the metro courthouse. If that is dressing up for court, I wonder what dressing down is.

  18. legotech says:

    No further suggestive sell??? Are they morons??? What about cinnamon twists!! The best reason for going to Taco Bell at all is the deep fried sugar coated twisty things!!!

    (awright, now I gotta to go Taco Bell for lunch, and then go home early because my stomach hurts:))

  19. Buran says:

    @ptkdude: It doesn’t bother me. I usually either respond with “Fine, thank you, I’d like (x)” or “Fine, thank you, and you?” … just polite manners. I don’t drag it out and if I don’t get a response (some people don’t) I just pause and then order. No big deal.

    Nothing wrong with promoting politeness. It’s fast becoming a lost art.

  20. HeyThereKiller says:

    @Smitherd: Delicious MILF-BIT and CUMMELT

  21. timmus says:

    “Insider document”?? Is this stuff really all that secretive? It’s really cool to see but I’m kind of astonished that there’s not loads of this floating around on the Internet.

  22. megan9039 says:

    Does this sign come in another language? Every time I go to the drive thru, the person speaks zero english. (I don’t mean to offend) but if you work the drive thru you should be required to be able to understand what I am saying….

  23. Ben Popken says:

    @timmus: You must have missed the tongue in our cheek.

  24. Youthier says:

    @Buran: I know, I kind of like it. It was weird, the first time the Taco Bell drive-thru said “Hi, how are you?” but now, it’s sort of nice.

    I would prefer a nice offer to help though – “How may I help you?” – instead.

  25. savvy9999 says:

    I would imagine KFC’s instructional poster looks more like a guide to dealing blackjack.

  26. char says:

    Having worked at KFC in highschool, this document forgets to instruct the person on how to CHECK THE FUCKING ORDER BEFORE IT GOES OUT.

    All your pleasentries mean shit when your customer can’t gorge themselves on your beefy cheesy whats-a-dick, then come back all pissed off.

  27. Ecks says:

    At least it doesn’t have them “suggest” an apple pie if you order a drink – and as basic as these instructions are, remember the typical smarts of your average fast food employee.

  28. Our Taco Hell uses a recording to greet drive-thru customers. “Hello, welcome to Taco Hell. Would you like to try our new Toasted Flatulence Inducer today?”

    Me: Uh, no. I’ll have two bean burritos and a small coke.

    Recorded greeting is almost always upbeat and female. Actual drive-thru employee is usually, uh, not so much. It kinda throws you off.

  29. KyleOrton says:

    @Ben Popken: Better than missing your tongue in his cheek.

    Regardless, I know a certain someone who is making a run for the border tonight, eh Nicholas_schaulsohn?

  30. Angryrider says:

    CMBLT? Ugh.. That’s a mouthful.

    Heh, common courtesy is all you need.

  31. Morac says:

    I don’t think that document is all that secret. I saw it on a sign behind the counter at my local Taco Bell. It was very easy to see from the customer’s standpoint.

  32. ParadigmABQ says:

    POS = Point of Sale (aka Cash Register)

    Just to clear that up…

  33. EJXD2 says:

    @Steaming Pile: How does a bean burrito not qualify as a toasted flatulence inducer?

  34. ExtraCelestial says:

    Lol. Kids are fantastic at that age.

  35. balthisar says:

    @Steaming Pile: This drives me nuts. The recording is automatic, so I never know if the order taker is ready to take my order or not, and I hold everything up until the human tells me to go ahead.

    Same for the friendly greeting. Obviously they want to greet you as soon as possible to acknowledge that they know you’re there, but I don’t like to proceed until they indicate that they’re ready, after all, they’re doing other things in that booth.

  36. B says:

    @EJXD2: Cause it’s grilled.

  37. MataHari says:

    @char: Hehe yeah, the same Taco Bell drive thru guy always asks “Hot sauce?”, I always reply “yes please” and he ALWAYS hands me the bag without any hot sauce. I forgot to double check last time before driving away, but luckily we keep a stash of extra packets for just such an occasion.

  38. linkura says:

    @CRNewsom: Seriously. This is actually pretty damn tasteful for company training/literature.

  39. GearheadGeek says:

    @Buran: Being the contrarian schmuck that I naturally am, I don’t find it particularly polite that people automatically ask how you’re doing when they don’t really care. I don’t often think about it in those terms, but have before. I’ve known a few people who think it’s rude of me NOT to ask in return.

    When someone I don’t know asks “how are you today” or some other such prepackaged greeting, I’ll usually say “fine thanks” and proceed with the business at hand, and a woman I know thinks I should ask how this person I don’t know is, when frankly I don’t care and don’t even think it’s any of my business.

    Then again, I don’t pretend I’m normal.

  40. r081984 says:

    Just watch one show of maury and you will see why they have to dumb down everything.

  41. Juggernaut says:

    yo quiero taco bell!!!

  42. Neurotic1 says:

    I like to do things out of order which totally throws them off. You can hear the pause as they mentally put things in order. Then they ask you the questions in order again. lol.

  43. Buran says:

    @GearheadGeek: The flipside is, even if someone doesn’t care a whole lot, it’s polite, it’s easy enough to respond appropriately, and it does encourage good manners in general so people who are used to inquiring and responding will hopefully do so in cases where it matters more.

    That’s my opinion, and I’m stickin’ to it, but I can see how a “Welcome to (x), how may I help you?” works as well.

  44. Snarkysnake says:

    In the wack-a-do world that fast food executives live in,this passes for “service”. Like the 16 year old chimp behind that plastic counter gives two shits about…Anything,especially how I am doing today.
    It’s like we are cattle eating slightly more processed (and seasoned) cattle…

  45. specialed5000 says:

    “Taco Bell stores their beef in giant garbage bags. When they need to re-fill the beef, they cut a corner in a bag and squeeze it out like a huge turd.”

    As lovely an image as this is, it is not completely accurate. It isn’t really “stored” in garbage bags. That’s the way it arrives from the distributor.

    I worked there for a couple of years, and have to say that as unappetizing as it may look, having beef, chicken, and steak precooked and sealed in plastic bags is a really big plus for food safety. This way, it is cooked in an environment that is easier to control than thousands of restaurants, and re-heated to about 180 degrees before ever being opened at the restaurant, so they never have to deal with raw beef or chicken.

  46. RINO-Marty says:

    When I was 16, I worked at a friend chicken restaurant and had a very difficult time remembering the various combinations of chicken parts, potatoes, and biscuits that went into each meal. I worked there for about a year, as as of my last day I couldn’t keep it straight. My performance reviews were not good. I was told not to expect any promotions to assistant manager anytime soon. Several years later, I was a waiter at Big Boy, a profession at which I also completely sucked. I recall being berated by customers on several occasions for not bringing toast with eggs, and the reason I kept doing this is that the toast is implied and usually not specifically mentioned, and so it would never occur to me.

    Now I’m 35, have a degree in economics from a good school, and (I say this only because I’m anonymous here) I’m doing very well at a management consulting firm (insert joke here). But I have no doubt that if by some hideous twist of fate I had to get a job at Famous Recipe Fried Chicken again, I would need visual aides like this, or I’d be quickly fired and FLConsumer’s orders would all be wrong.

  47. lizk says:

    I *hate* that “hi, how are you doing?” greeting they do at the drive-thru. It tripped me up twice in a row, so I just stopped going there. It’s probably for the best anyway.

  48. The Bambino says:


    POS= Point of Sale (ie the system used to ring up the orders)

  49. specialed5000 says:

    @Neurotic1: “I like to do things out of order which totally throws them off. You can hear the pause as they mentally put things in order. Then they ask you the questions in order again. lol.”

    If you are intentionally doing things that you know are likely to confuse a cashier, I hope that you don’t complain too much when your order isn’t right.

  50. theblackdog says:

    What scares me is that I can still remember the sandwich ingredients for most of the subs at Cousins subs, and I haven’t worked there for over 6 years.

  51. GothGirl says:

    I want to see the sign on how to deal with high and or drunk folks at 2am looking for “HANGOVER” food….

  52. Half Beast says:

    That’s right America. EAT MORE!

  53. akalish says:

    I think the funniest thing about this is that the instructions aren’t even written in proper English: “Please pull [up/drive up] to the window.”

  54. @queenlizzie: Someone just complained about that to me today. I haven’t heard it yet, but I can just IMAGINE it’s annoying. “Hi, how are you?” “Uh …. hungry?”

    I’d seriously be wondering if they’d replaced the ordering box thingie with some kind of loudspeaker telephone.

  55. DeadlySinz says:

    OMG. this is serious ?


  56. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    This isn’t too bad a training aid. My local Taco Smell always has an overly friendly greeting at the drive-thru. I usually am hungry and just want them to take and fill my order quickly. Since I know that the person taking the order probably doesn’t give a f@*k about how I really am doing, asking me how I am doing does little to make me like Taco Smell better.

    Still my local T-Bell actually has pretty decent employees, many who do not have prison tattoes on their fingers.

  57. thewriteguy says:

    Instead of “Hi, how are you?”, why not simply “Hi, what would you like to order today, sir/ma’am?”

  58. riverstyxxx says:

    “Does that complete your order?”

    Worst line ever. KFC and Pizza Hut are also owned by the same company, yucky!

  59. tripleR6 says:

    taco bell is pretty good about this sort of stuff, cheap too!

    but yea its clear from the chart they think their employees are complete retards.

  60. Youthier says:

    @thewriteguy: Agreed but I still like it better than “Order when ready.”


    Ditto. I’m doing fairly well in the corporate world but I was the most God awful waitress at Pizza Hut as a high schooler. Absolutely atrocious. Eventually I quit because as a customer, I would never have put up with me.

  61. G-Dog says:

    I’m not going to make fun of any job or anybody that works for a living.

  62. JustaConsumer says:

    Save a ton of money. Bring your own drink!

  63. lefty_redhead says:

    @G-Dog: Well said.

  64. riverstyxxx says:

    “Would you like something to drink with that?”

    Yeah, gimme a liter’a cola!

  65. uricmu says:

    I’m sorry, but how is this different than the training material in any fast-food job? And thinking of that, do you think the telemarketer calling you or the verizon customer service rep or the pollster calling about the elections isn’t doing the same?

    It’s called a McJob for a reason.

  66. uricmu says:

    @Youthier: If a customer is eating at Pizza Hut, do you think the service is his biggest problem?

  67. uricmu says:

    @thewriteguy: Using “Hi, what would you like to order today, sir/ma’am?”” is a horrible idea because you have a guy in a well-lit room using a black and white video camera to look into a dark car and try to figure out the gender of the customer. Any dude with a long hair would look like a ma’am and any girl with short hair would look like a dude.

  68. TruPhan says:

    I think I must be the only guy that doesn’t see a problem with this. Seriously, the job is to sell food. You’re shocked that a food establishment would like to sell you more food?

    I’m just glad that Taco Bell is training their employees in the first place =D

  69. Parting says:

    This is just standard training. Straight to the point, easy to grasp for everyone.

    What’s the deal? Afraid you’ll get good customer service at fast food restaurant?

  70. Manok says:

    I worked at taco bell when I was sixteen. Was my first job actually. Wasn’t a bad place, clean..not greasy. The food is boiled in a bag, the meat, chicken, beans. All of it. You boil it.

  71. BensAngel says:

    @akalish: Yes, this happens to be the only post-worthy element about these instructions yet it’s not even mentioned in the OP!

  72. ZekeDMS says:

    My god, they endorse lying in the training catalogs! I’ve never had a single taco bell employee tell me about the tomatoes in the cheesy beefy melt or the cheesy bean and rice, but damn it, they’re there, and they’re disgusting.

    I should complain, damn it, I spent 2 dollars on that crap! Each time! So, somewhere around 4 in total I suppose, those lying bastards.

  73. Hello_Newman says:

    At least it’s not as bad as McDonalds, there if a child asks an employee where hamburgers come from, they are required to answer “they come from hamburger patches”. My dad is a vegetarian and read about every book on corporate beefmeisters like them.

  74. I used to work at Taco Bell and I’ve seen this brilliant piece of literature before.
    I don’t think the upselling part is even that bad, what is a crime is that we we’re instructed to only give 1 packet of hot sauce per food item! Shocking I know, especially when I got the usual guy who buys one taco and asks ‘ah lemme get a ton of dat dere fire sauce’. So unfair.

  75. detraya says:


    that means point of sale, its what on their registers.

  76. xDimMaK says:

    I’d be a little creeped out if someone was staring at me with that cheesy smile the whole time I was making my order.

  77. FLConsumer says:

    @CRNewsom: The local cops said they love the baggy pants — prevents the suspects from running too far/fast. Those types also tend to be the same ones committing crimes for some strange reason.

    @megan9039: There are some dialects of American English which I have difficulty understanding (heavy black or heavy southern). I don’t seem to have as much difficulty understanding the broken Spanglish or Indian Engrish. Could just be me ‘though. I’ve only resorted to ordering in Spanish a couple of times. Might have to brush up on my Hindi for talking with the offshore customer (dis)service agents.

    @RINO-Marty: So how was life at Arthur Andersen? (Sorry, had to) I’m just glad you didn’t go into engineering. I routinely have to drop-ship everything I need for a job, right down to the last screw. Buying some of these parts locally is out of the question. Plenty of second-guessing beforehand.

    @vitonfluorcarbon: I saw something like this recently at one of the fast food chains. The guy had tattoos all over his neck and up the lower portions of his jaw. Real smart dude — that’ll help you get plenty of jobs.

    @G-Dog: I don’t want to criticize anyone who is making an honest effort and working, but sometimes I have to wonder. I see so many piss-poor attitudes from employees of various companies, including my own. I don’t care what the job is, if you’re going to do it, do it right. A customer asking you to do something that is part of your job shouldn’t come off as a great effort or inconvenience to your social life of talking with other employees about non work-related issues or your bootie-call on your cell phone while at work.

    The fast food companies and many retail chains spend millions of dollars a year in R&D to idiot-proof their business model. Unfortunately, idiots are quite crafty.

  78. balthisar says:

    Wow, how things have changed. Taco Bell was my first job… this was 1988 or so. The hamburger did come in big bags, but it was raw, and we cooked it ourselves. The beans were dry, and we cooked them ourselves (yes, with real, authentic, rendered pig fat). I was under 18 so I couldn’t do this next part: we fried the tortillas to get taco shells, tostadas, and the flour tortilla tostas.

    McDonald’s was my second job. Again, this was a long time ago, but we were never told to tell children that hamburgers came from hamburger patches!

  79. freejazz38 says:

    Dontcha just LOVE when a Fast Food moron assaults you with, “Hi, would like like to try an (fill-in name of overpriced menu choice) today? before you can order? It’s SUCH a fun annoyance and waste of time. I’d LOVE to know the success rate. Just shows to go that the only mcEmployees dumber than the clerks are the managers

  80. RINO-Marty says:

    FLConsumer: Even worse: BearingPoint! Aaargh!

  81. bobblack555 says:

    Hey, nothing wrong with instructing your employees to be polite and courteous.

    Maybe more restaurants need to post charts like this to remind employees that they are there to serve the customer in a courteous manner.

  82. ehlaren says:

    Fun fast food information about taco bell.

    This is from ~2.5 years ago.

    Drive Thru:
    The greeting is recorded about once a week with the new ‘special’. The greeting is there to try to speed up the customer and assumes that you have looked at the menu BEFORE you have pulled up to the speaker. You have a target time on the speaker, 60 seconds if I remember correctly. Someone trying to hit target time hates people who say “let me look for a minute” then take 5 minutes to figure their order of 2 soft tacos.

    If there are two windows the first one where you pay is not timed. Where you receive your bag of food you are timed beginning when the weight of your car rolls onto the sensor in front of the window. The target time here was 60 seconds as well if I’m remembering right. The timer does not stop until your weight leaves the window. The cashier will love you if you pull a full car length forward BEFORE you start checking your food. Come inside if you had a discrepancy as if the cashier is good and was actually trying to hit the time, it is a well run taco bell, and especially if a manager or the drive thru cashier can see you then you’ll usually be taken care of fast. Lots of times your missing food was made but was just left in an out of way place and forgotten about (like mexican pizzas above the preparer’s head). It is easy to forget one thing when you are making thousands of tacos as fast as possible. This is especially true when you order 2 or 3 grande meals (20-30 tacos) and add on 3 pizzas and they made your order in less then a minute.

    Food Preparation:
    As stated before pretty much all of the food comes in plastic bags that are refrigerated. They are not huge garbage bags. They are small white plastic bags. Beef takes 2 bags to fill up a metal line pan. Cheese takes .5-.75, lettuce takes ~.5, chicken and steak are smaller bags and also are 2 bags put into a pan half the size of the beef pan.

    All cold stuff is put into pans and placed on the line with the extra stuff put in mini fridges under the line and used to replace the line when low/out.

    Hot stuff comes straight from the fridge (except the nacho cheese, rice, and beans it is non refrigerated) to a big heater that is full of superhot water, placed into the water, then heated back up for a certain time period. That thing is ridiculously hot and some silly highschooler actually stuck his whole hand into it to fetch something out. He was a moron.

    Rice is stored in bins and measured out and mixed with super hot ass water a scoop of lard/grease, and their flavoring. Beans come out of prepackaged paper bags and are mixed with the hot water.

    All the flour is taken from shelves and steamed in a steamer as it is used. Deep fried stuff is fried once twice possibly but hopefully not 3 times a day. The deep fryer is also used for chalupa shells, empanadas, and potatoes. They try to deep fry the cinnamon twists, salad shells, etc at the beginning of the day and in down time as it takes up the deep fryer and takes a huge amount of time.

    Grilled stuff is the biggest rip off you can buy at taco bell since you’re paying 2 bucks more for what amounts to the added benefit of having your item smashed between two hot plates for 40 some seconds.

    Fun Facts I’ve randomly remembered or things that you get dirty looks about:
    -I would never drink baja blast in my life as it leaves a blue film on everything it touches.
    -When you complain because there are no napkins inside and see there’s only one cashier and a line of 30 people don’t be mad when the cashier simply places an opened bag of napkins on the counter for you to grab some out of.
    -Please use proper grammar when you are cursing out a manager and accusing them of not having a highschool education. ( You aints got any highschools education! )
    -If you go to a taco bell where the person in the drive thru is taking money+handing your order+taking orders+making drinks+checking your order, it is during a rush, and you got your order in less then a minute(at the window) then that person is most likely insanely good at their job and the line supporting him is as well.
    -People are cyclic. It is really freaky and if you ever work at a place with the public a lot (any food) you will notice the fact that when people come they all decide to come at the same time. This is a given for lunch, dinner, etc but at taco bell it was even crazier because randomly at X:XXPM/AM on a slow day you just get a bajillion customers that wanted to eat at the same time. It is seriously freaky.

    Ask more questions if you want to know. Much hasn’t changed since I’ve left even the training is the same as we had tons of what is shown in the picture. They always revolved around the new special product and upsaling drinks too.

  83. first2letters says:

    I’d much prefer to see a flowchart instructing Taco Bell employees how to place gloves onto their mitts before they handle my food. Oh, right — there’s no rule for that.

  84. theblackdog says:

    @first2letters: Gloves are a false sense of security.

  85. dizzydj says:

    @theblackdog Oh so true.

    I loved working at BK just to criticize the really funny flow charts on really simple things like making a cheezeburger, or filling a cup with pop. Too bad I don’t have pictures of them… they were too funny.

  86. Subliminal0182 says:


    Yeah they’re clear bags but you remember how it’s GRADE Z meat??

  87. Narockstar says:

    @Buran: I agree and always try to be extra polite to fast food workers when I occasionally get fast food. Of course, I also enjoy how the workers look at me like I have two heads when I say “Yes, may I please have a spicy chicken sandwich?” I don’t think they get many polite fast food customers in NYC.

  88. arachnophilia says:

    OMG. “no further suggestive sell.”

    my respect for taco bell just went up. seriously.