Taco Bell's Australian Rollout Could Be Delayed By 'Taco Bill'

The Aussie franchisor of Tex-Mex giant Taco Bell is being taken to court by Taco Bill -- a Victorian-focused fast food rival which says its customers will be confused by the similarity of the two names.

The ASX-listed Collins Foods announced on Monday that Taco Bill Mexican Restaurants Australia was seeking to prevent it from bringing Taco Bell to Victoria and southern NSW, on the basis that its customers will be misled or deceived to believe that the two are affiliated.

Collins opened four Taco Bell stores in Australia during its last financial year -- all in Queensland -- and in June flagged plans to open 10 more by the end of 2019, including in NSW.

Collins' rollout of the Taco Bell brand was set to extend to Victoria in early 2020.

According to Taco Bill's website, it has 32 outlets in Victoria and one in Albury on the NSW-Victoria border.

The chain says it was founded by 'Taco Bill' Chilcote, who came to Australia in 1966 from the border of Mexico and California "with just a corn grinder and a tortilla machine" to give the country its "first introduction to Mexican cuisine".

Image: Getty

Collins Foods said Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell in California in 1962, with more than 7,100 restaurants operating worldwide.

Collins, which is Australia's largest KFC operator and also manages the dwindling local Sizzler presence, said it would defend the Federal Court claim with strong support from the global Taco Bell.

Image: Getty

"(Taco Bill) has not quantified their claim and ... does not seek any urgent orders to prevent Collins Foods from opening Taco Bell restaurants in Victoria," Collins said in a release to the ASX.

Taco Bill has been contacted for comment.