Taco John's Tries To Reignite Its Beef With Taco Bell

A new war between the two Tex-Mex chains is brewing.

Taco John's, the Wyoming-based Tex-Mex chain that once battled with Taco Bell over the right to Taco Tuesday, is trying to rekindle the flame of that rivalry with a new menu offering. Per an email sent to The Takeout, Taco John's has just added a Taco Pizza to its menu that dedicated Taco Bell fans will find suspiciously similar to an existing favorite.

Just last year, Taco Bell entered into a full out legal battle with Taco John's over the trademark right to the phrase "Taco Tuesday." Taco John's had wielded this power for years, claiming to have invented the slogan and actively working to prevent other restaurants across the U.S. from using it in any form of marketing by sending out cease and desist letters. In an effort to "free Taco Tuesday," Taco Bell filed a legal petition.

After some back and forth that yielded both brands plenty of free publicity, Taco John's eventually relinquished its rights and peace came to the fast food taco realm. That is, until now.

Taco John's new Taco Pizza is an undeniable dupe of Taco Bell's popular Mexican Pizza. The Taco Pizza consists of both a corn and wheat flour crust topped with refried beans, beef, a four cheese blend, the brand's Fiesta sauce, tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes. The 10-inch round pizza is baked until crispy, sliced into eight pieces, and sells for $9.99. In comparison, Taco Bell's standard Mexican Pizza comes with beef, refried beans, a three-cheese blend, the brand's Mexican Pizza sauce, and tomatoes, and sells for around $6.

Notably, Taco Bell's pizza uses two fried flour tortillas and specifically sandwiches the beef and beans between them, while using the rest of the ingredients as a topping; Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza is also smaller than Taco John's 10-inch Taco Pizza. However, the similarities are irrefutable. Taco John's even went out of its way to one-up its rival by using a four-cheese blend instead of three and notes that its pizza contains seven layers of ingredients whereas Taco Bell's pizza officially has five layers.

Considering Taco John's has almost 400 locations nationwide compared to Taco Bell's nearly 8,000 restaurants, it makes sense the former brand wouldn't be afraid of creating a little friendly competition. However, Taco John's may be poking a beast here.

For years, fans of Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza begged for the dish to be brought back as a permanent menu item. It wasn't until 2022 that the Tex-Mex chain finally made customers' dreams come true. For Taco John's, to create something so similar means its offering has a lot to live up to. This is either a great marketing strategy or another an opportunity for Taco Bell to assert its dominance over the smaller chain.