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Taco Bell breakfast sales rose 9% last quarter because of Pete Davidson

Taco Bell's (YUM) breakfast category got a boost last quarter, thanks to the comedian Pete Davidson.

Following the debut of the ad called "The Apology" featuring the comedian last October, breakfast sales spiked.

"Taco Bell brought in Pete Davidson to help drive consumer buzz for breakfast. This led to 9% transaction growth for the daypart," CEO David Gibbs said in a call with investors following the company's fourth-quarter earnings.

In the ad, Taco Bell said it's "sorry" for going "too far" for cooking up too many "innovative" breakfast offerings. The company said the ad was to "acknowledge it might've taken innovation to unwelcomed heights with some of its past breakfast creations (looking at you, Naked Egg Taco and Waffle Taco)."

In the 30-second ad, Davidson said, "Sometimes we go too far, I have, and that's why Taco Bell has hired me to make an apology for them."

Taco Bell enlists help from Pete Davidson to apologize for going too far before 11 A.M. (Courtesy: Taco Bell).
Taco Bell enlists help from Pete Davidson to apologize for going too far before 11 A.M. (Courtesy: Taco Bell).

With that, the brand announced plans to refocus its efforts on its more conventional breakfast items.

Breakfast is available until 11 a.m. local time at Taco Bell locations. Options now include the Breakfast Breakfast Crunchwrap with Sausage; Breakfast Quesadilla with Steak and Cheesy; and the Toasted Breakfast Burrito with Potato.

The Taco Bell brand continues to be a driver for Yum! Brands overall. In the company's earnings results, U.S. sales grew 14%, while international sales grew 23% as customers looked for value and premium offerings. Overall, Q4 same-store sales came in much higher than expected, up 11% versus 6.53% expected.

The Mexican Pizza was also a key driver for the taco chain, as Taco Bell sold 45 million in 2022.

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at

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