Local residents should soon have another fast-food option — this one with a distinct Mexican flavour.
Red Deer’s municipal planning commission on Wednesday gave site development approval for a combined Taco Bell-KFC restaurant at 6889 Gaetz Ave. The 3,100-square-foot building will go up next to an existing KFC restaurant on the same lot, with that business to continue operating until its replacement is finished.
The new restaurant will have a drive-through.
Cindy Mandrusiak owns the north Red Deer KFC, as well as two more of the franchises in the city, and others in Gasoline Alley, Ponoka and Rocky Mountain House. She thinks Central Alberta is ready for a Taco Bell, which serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and other specialty items.
“In Canada, it’s not as proven,” she said of the fast-food chain, which serves more than two billion customers annually in the United States.
“They’re not as big here.”
Taco Bell and KFC — which was previously known as Kentucky Fried Chicken — are both subsidiaries of Yum Brands Inc., as is Pizza Hut. Mandrusiak said restaurants that combine two of the brands are becoming increasingly popular.
She said a Taco Bell-KFC partnership at one of her other outlets is a possibility.
“We’re looking at Gasoline Alley, but we’re going to have to see how this one goes first.”
Site work for the new restaurant will begin immediately, said Mandrusiak, and the building should be ready by next spring. She anticipates a one- to two-week disruption in business when operations move from the old building to the new one.
“That’s our No. 1 store, so I don’t want it shut down while we’re trying to do this.”
Mandrusiak’s father, John Konopaki, opened Red Deer’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken 50 years ago. In addition to running several of the franchises, he and his wife, Mary, owned the former Peacock Inn and Holiday Inn banquet hall.