Americans, brace yourselves: food shortages have hit Taco Bell

Our beloved national symbol is running short of chicken, beef, lettuce, tortillas, and well, everything else.

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an employee at a Taco Bell drive-thru talks to a customer
“I’m sorry, sir, we are out of everything.”
Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

My fellow Americans: today I bring you sad news. The food shortages that have plagued our fair nation in the wake of COVID, leading to barren store shelves, epic fights over yeast and flour, and astronomically-priced pastrami have now hit our beloved Taco Bell. Yes, it’s true: even as the Bell touts the return of Nacho Fries and the debut of not one but two new flatbread tacos, customers report that the chain is running short of beef, chicken, tortillas, and just about every other essential ingredient to the Taco Bell experience, even hot sauce.

“Sorry if we can’t feed your current crave,” Taco Bell announced in a bright orange banner on top of its website (albeit in small letters). “Due to national ingredient shortages and delivery delays, we may be out of some items.”

In an official statement to CNN, Taco Bell declined to mention exactly which items were missing, but the voice of the people, via social media, was not nearly so circumspect. “For anyone craving Taco Bell tonight, I’ll save you the drive, they don’t have chicken or beef, national shortage or something. I just ate black beans in a hard shell,” reported one Twitter user quoted by CBS News. “Taco Bell has a ‘district-wide shortage of hot sauce...times are tough,” tweeted another.

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Over on Reddit, one user recounted their own sad experience: “They couldn’t make any burritos since they were out of 10" tortillas, and none of the tacos had lettuce or tomato on them. I went back through the drive through and asked about it and they said they are pretty much out of anything that comes fresh.”

When questioned by CBS, Taco Bell released a statement that blamed the shortage on “national transportation delays” and offered reassurances that things would be back to normal soon. CBS observed that Taco Bell isn’t the only national chain having supply issues: recently, Chick-fil-A has resorted to rationing sauce packets. Truly, we are living through some hard times.