The ‘Tortillapocalypse’ could have been worse.

By Mike Pomranz
July 12, 2019
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

The year is 2019. Feral millennials facing the hunger pangs of a mild buzz caused by the consumption of a responsible amount of hard seltzer roam the city streets in search of any Taco Bell selling menu items made with tortillas, lest they have to face the horrible alternative: ordering from any of the dozens of other restaurants available on Postmates. This was the vision conjured up by the word “Tortillapocalypse." But thankfully, it never came to this. Just a week after it started, Taco Bell says its tortilla shortage is over.

On July 3, after rumors spread that large swaths of Taco Bell locations had stopped offering menu items made with its standard-sized ten-inch tortilla, the chain told me that — at least to some extent — yes, the tortilla apocalypse was real. “While some Taco Bell restaurants are experiencing supplier shortages, we are working diligently to replenish the supply of our tortillas (used for products like quesadillas and burritos) in those restaurants,” a spokesperson told me. “We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and appreciate our customers’ patience.”

Turns out the required patience was only about eight days. Yesterday, Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Taco Bell told them the shortage was effectively over. “We have worked closely with our suppliers to resolve any shortages, and most, if not all, of our impacted restaurants should be offering our full menu so fans can now enjoy their Taco Bell favorites,” the company was quoted as saying. Indeed, checking back at the same online menus I had looked at last week, previously grayed out menu items had returned.

As for what happened, that’s not entirely clear. Taco Bell did not provide NRN with any additional details on what was behind the shortage, though the site does write that whatever the crisis, it mainly affected Midwest and East Coast locations. (I’ve reached out to Taco Bell for additional information on the cause and will update if they provide additional details.) In the meantime, feel free to resume drinking hard seltzer with the comfort that you’ll be able to fulfill your cravings for a Steak Reaper Ranch Fries Burrito, which just hit stores nationwide.

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