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Glen Bell was 23 when he left the Marine Corps. in 1946. World War II was over, and the economy was switching to peacetime pursuits. In five years, business would be booming and fast food along with it. Glen came home to the sleepy agricultural town of San Bernardino, certain that families would be in the market for the recreational activities that disappeared during the war. He first thought of a miniature golf course, but after facing his financial situation, he went to work on something more the size of his pocketbook, a hot dog stand. Bell's Drive-In was the name of that first stand, and Glen learned the business as he went. His next unit would only be large enough for one person to operate and strictly takeout. In 1952, he sold the first stand, and began to build a perfected version. The menu would be hamburgers and hot dogs. As he began building his second, the McDonald brothers started their first unit, in a strange stroke of coincidence, also in San Bernardino. Glen became increasingly interested in the idea of alternative menu items. He was an avid Mexican food take-out customer, and as such, was well aware of the hang-ups in ordering tacos to go from a full-service restaurant. "If you wanted a dozen," he recalls, "you were in for a wait. They stuffed them first, quickly fried them and stuck them together with a toothpick. I thought they were delicious, but something had to be done about the method of preparation."

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About Taco Bell

Glen Bell was 23 when he left the Marine Corps. in 1946. World War II was over, and the economy was switching to peacetime pursuits. In five years, business would be booming and fast food along with it.

Glen came home to the sleepy agricultural town of San Bernardino, certain that families would be in the market for the recreational activities that disappeared during the war. He first thought of a miniature golf course, but after facing his financial situation, he went to work on something more the size of his pocketbook, a hot dog stand. Bell's Drive-In was the name of that first stand, and Glen learned the business as he went. His next unit would only be large enough for one person to operate and strictly takeout.

In 1952, he sold the first stand, and began to build a perfected version. The menu would be hamburgers and hot dogs. As he began building his second, the McDonald brothers started their first unit, in a strange stroke of coincidence, also in San Bernardino. Glen became increasingly interested in the idea of alternative menu items. He was an avid Mexican food take-out customer, and as such, was well aware of the hang-ups in ordering tacos to go from a full-service restaurant. "If you wanted a dozen," he recalls, "you were in for a wait. They stuffed them first, quickly fried them and stuck them together with a toothpick. I thought they were delicious, but something had to be done about the method of preparation."