Fast food chain Taco Bell will be added to the University of Michigan’s newly renovated Michigan Union, among other food and service partners. The Union is slated to reopen its doors this coming January. 

The University announced the other business included in the space about a month ago, some of which include Barnes and Noble, Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea and Panera Bread.

According to a press release, Amy White, director of the Michigan Union, said the search for restaurants was broad in terms of cuisine, dietary considerations, pricing and national recognition. 

“When looking at restaurant brands we made a very broad request for proposals, including both local and national brands, so that we could consider a variety of cuisines, dietary advantages, and price points,” White said. “Taco Bell rounds out this diverse offering with a mix of options and selections to make students, staff and guests want to return regularly. We are very pleased to welcome Taco Bell to the Union.”

Susan Pile, senior director of University Unions and Auxiliary Services, said Taco Bell’s announcement comes a month after the rest of the vendors due to processing agreements. 

“We can’t make an announcement until we have signed agreements with each of the respective vendors,” Pile said. “This one took a little bit longer to actually get signed than the others did and lots of people were wanting to know who the vendors were going to be and we wanted to honor that and get the information out that we could at the time.”

LSA junior Brianna Morigney said she is looking forward to the opening of Taco Bell in the Union and thinks it offers a better alternative to Wendy’s.

“I am really excited about Taco Bell in the Union,” Morigney said. “I think it’s a well known, inexpensive and fast option that’s great for students. I know many people were upset about Wendy’s leaving the Union but I think Taco Bell is a better replacement and will be popular amongst students.”

Taco Bell franchise owner Louis Dortch Jr. said in a press release the menu offers American Vegetarian Association approved items.

“At Taco Bell, we’ve had innovation on our mind since Glen Bell started serving tacos at the first location in 1962 in Downey, California,” Dortch said. “Since then, we’ve grown to be a culture-centric, lifestyle brand that provides craveable, affordable Mexican-inspired food with bold flavors. Not only do we provide breakthrough value, we offer quality ingredients and are the first QSR restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified menu items. In fact, our restaurant brand is one of the very few in the QSR industry leading that charge.”

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