Taco Bueno

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Taco Bueno
Mexican Restaurants
Industry Quick Service Restaurants
Founded Abilene, Texas (1967)
Founder Bill Waugh (Founder)
Headquarters Farmers Branch, Texas
Key people
Ed Lambert (CEO)
Products Tacos, burritos, and other Mexican-related fast food
Revenue $187 million[1]
Number of employees
Parent Palladium Equity Partners
Slogan It's More Bueno!
Website tacobueno.com

Taco Bueno is a U.S.-based fast-food restaurant chain specializing in Tex-Mex-style Mexican cuisine. Currently headquartered in Farmers Branch, Texas,[2] the first location was in Abilene, Texas in 1967. The company has locations in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas with concentrations in North Texas and Oklahoma. The chain currently includes 176 restaurants.[citation needed]


Taco Bueno was founded in 1967 by Bill R. Waugh, an Abilene Christian University(ACU) art graduate. The first store was located in Abilene, Texas.

In 1981, Taco Bueno was acquired by British food manufacturer Unigate

Taco Bueno was sold to Carl's Jr.'s franchisor CKE Restaurants in 1996. CKE agreed to purchase Taco Bueno on August 29, 1996.[3]

In 2001, the private investment group Jacobson Partners purchased the chain for $72.5 Million US Dollars to help aid CKE Restaurants in a battle to get out of debt.[4]

On August 10, 2005, Palladium Equity Partners announced its completion of the purchase of Taco Bueno from Jacobson Partners. At the same time John Miller was appointed CEO of Taco Bueno.[5]

In 2011, Ed Lambert became CEO of Taco Bueno, LP. He is known as their Chief Buenohead.

New additions[edit]

Piña Colada smoothies have replaced the lemonade.

May 2013 saw the addition of flautas. The Jumbo Fiery Flautas are made with a mixture of taco meat, chorizo sausage, and Firehouse salsa. They are rolled up and fried. With the flautas one can get either Diablo Sauce, guacamole, sour cream, queso or jalapeño ranch. Diablo Sauce is made with sour cream sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

The Coca Cola Freestyle was available in select locations from January 2013 through February 2014. In February 2014, Taco Bueno began the transition from selling Coca-Cola products to selling Pepsi products. In addition to fountain drinks, a selection of bottled and canned drinks are available.

Throwback Thursday[edit]

In the Spring of 2014, a new promotion called "Throwback Thursday" began. These are items that were on the menu in the past that were removed for one reason or another. These items can still be ordered any day of the week. One can vote for the next item on Taco Bueno's Facebook page.

The items revived are in order that they have been re-released are:

    1. Frito Chili Pie
    2. Bueno Burger
    3. Chili Cheese Wrap
    4. Taco Round

Limited Time[edit]

Southwest Empanadas started 5 June 2012. They contain chicken, black beans, fire-roasted corn, cilantro and bell peppers in a warm flaky crust.

September 8, 2012 saw the addition of Bueno Bowls. One picks between a salad bowl or a rice bowl. The salad bowl comes with romaine lettuce and the rice bowl comes with cilantro lime rice. Then one chooses a meat, either taco meat, fajita chicken, steak, or no meat. After one selects their meat, they pick between whole pinto, whole black, or refried beans. Toppings are selected next. The options are shredded cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, romaine lettuce, grilled onions and peppers, and fiesta corn salsa. The salad dressing options are jalapeño ranch and chipotle citrus vinaigrette. A new dessert, peach empanadas, were also introduced.

Peach empanadas were recently added. For the 2012 holiday season, they were put on hold and replaced with pumpkin empanadas.

Specialty Items[edit]


Pork tamales are a seasonal item.

Big Ol' Burrito[edit]

The Big Ol' Burrito, or BOB, comes on a 12-inch flour tortilla. It includes chili sauce, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes, with your choice of Taco Meat, Diced Chicken, or Diced Steak.

MexiDips & Chips[edit]

The MexiDips & Chips is a bed of tortilla chips with two fried corn tortilla bowls. For dine-in orders, one bowl contains queso, one holds refried pinto beans, and there are 2 scoops of fresh guacamole on the side. For carry-out, the guacamole goes in one of the tortilla bowls and the cheese is in a plastic container with a lid to prevent spillage.

In 2005, a dish known as MexiDips & Chips Plus was available for a limited time. It came with a Southwest Spinach Artichoke Dip. In 2012, a White Cheddar Queso Dip was added for a limited time. In 2013, customers who ordered MexiDips & Chips could load their queso for free with toppings like Killer Guacamole (a spicier version of the ordinary guacamole that comes with the dish), Spicy Chorizo, pico de gallo, or sour cream.


A Muchaco is a lightly fried Pita Bread that comes with Lettuce, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, and Tomatoes, and your choice of Taco Meat, Diced Chicken, or Diced Steak. The Taco Meat Muchaco has Refried Beans, while the Chicken and Steak Muchaco come with Black Beans.

Potato Burrito[edit]

Taco Bueno's Potato Burrito consists of the customer's choice of ground beef or grilled chicken, hash brown potatoes, queso, shredded lettuce, and sour cream wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. As with most of the chain's menu items, refried beans may be substituted for meat at no additional charge.

Mucho Nachos[edit]

Mucho Nachos is a bed of corn tortilla chips topped with refried beans, chili sauce, queso, tomatoes, sour cream, and a choice of Taco Meat, Diced Chicken, or Diced Steak.

Nacho Salad[edit]

Nacho Salad is a salad concoction that comes with the customers choice of beef or chicken. It is on a bed of chips with chili, queso, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes.

Cheesecake Chimichanga[edit]

A Cheesecake Chimichanga is a warm cheesecake filling wrapped in a lightly battered flour tortilla, which is then deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. There is an original flavor, which is just plain cheesecake. Many locations also offer a Mixed Berry flavor. In the past, Taco Bueno has offered a Cinnamon Cheesecake, which included a cinnamon cheesecake filling, and dusted with cinnamon sugar.

Bueno Choice Menu[edit]

In October 2010 Taco Bueno debuted the Bueno Choice Menu featuring items ranging between 150 - 450 calories.[6] The Bueno Choice Menu offers items such as grilled Chicken Fajita Tacos, and Black Bean Burritos. The Bueno Choice menu is no longer being offered.

Salsa Bar[edit]

All Taco Bueno locations have a self serve salsa and condiment bar featuring homemade fresh original red and roasted salsas, fresh pico de gallo, diced onions, and jalapeño peppers.

Breakfast Menu[edit]

In 2007, Taco Bueno introduced a line of breakfast items, including egg burritos and breakfast platters, at the majority of their locations. Chorizo was reintroduced in spring of 2012.

References in popular culture[edit]

  • Taco Bueno has been referenced several times on the television show King of the Hill. In the episode "Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story," Bobby discovers a Taco Bueno in the cafeteria of the high school where he is pretending to be a student.
  • Founder Bill Waugh also founded Casa Bonita, a chain with one remaining location in Lakewood, Colorado. It was featured on an episode of South Park. See Casa Bonita (South Park episode)[7]
  • Taco Bueno is parodied in Kim Possible by a restaurant called Bueno Nacho.
  • Taco Bueno is featured prominently in the film Diary of a Tortured Artist
  • Taco Bueno is referenced in The Simpsons episode "Moonshine river" when the Shakespearean actor refers to a Taco Bueno commercial as the only professional job he has worked on.


  1. ^ a b "InsideView Directory". InsideView. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Economic Development." City of Farmers Branch. Retrieved on December 8, 2009.
  3. ^ "CKE RESTAURANTS AGREES TO PURCHASE CASA BONITA". New York Times. 29 August 1996. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "CKE WILL SELL ITS TACO BUENO UNIT FOR $72.5 MILLION". The New York Times. 15 March 2001. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Palladium Equity Partners Completes Acquisition of Taco Bueno Restaurant Chain". Palladium Equity. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Ruggless, Ron. "Taco Bueno debuts low-calorie menu". Taco Bueno debuts low-calorie menu. Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "South Park: Casa Bonita". South Park. South Park Studios. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 

External links[edit]