COMPASS is to open a new Taco Bell Mexican fast food outlet at Birmingham University under a franchise agreement with the PepsiCo-owned chain.

The brand is the latest to be added to the contract caterer's New Famous Foods portfolio, coming as a result of the acquisition by Compass of US caterer Canteen Corporation in May.

Canteen operates 19 Taco Bell outlets in the USA butthe Mexican chain, whichhas around 4,500 outlets inthe USA, has just two in the UK.

Ian Daly, managing director of Compass's New Famous Foods division, said the outlet would open in the next fortnight as a pilot.

"The idea of Mexican fast food is not necessarily suited to the UK market, but we believe students will go for it because they are younger and more adventurous in their tastes," he told Caterer.

Mr Daly returned from the USA three weeks ago, where he met with Taco Bell and other fast food operators. Among them was KFC, also owned by PepsiCo, and other chicken operators. He had been particularly interestedby the rotisserie chicken outlets gaining popularity in the USA.

Proposals put forward last year to franchise the Upper Crust brand to outside companies look likely to be implemented next year, Mr Daly added.

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