Taco Bell's new Doritos Locos Taco and its rollout of a breakfast menu on the West Coast helped drive a Q1 U.S, same-store sales gain of 6%.
That was a big improvement over Q4 2011, when the QSR saw a same-store sales decline of 2%.
A breakfast menu featuring items co-branded with Cinnabon, Tropicana, Johnsonville and other makers launched in 800 West Coast locations in January. Taco Bell reported that it will add the breakfast menu to 200 more stores in 2012's second half.
Taco Bell also launched its new "Live Mas" marketing campaign in February, and is testing a Taco Bell Cantina menu that features fresh ingredients. Those items are priced above Taco Bell's other menu items, but below those of competitor Chipotle Mexican Grill.
The Taco Bell results were reported as part of parent Yum! Brands' earnings call for Q1.
Yum's Pizza Hut and KFC chains also saw gains, including U.S. same-store sales lifts of 5% for Pizza Hut and 2% for KFC.
Overall, Yum's U.S. same-store sales grew 5%, and U.S. operating profit gained 15%.
Yum's global, systemwide sales grew 7%.
All of this resulted in a companywide profit jump of 73%.