Taco Bell on track to create 100,000 jobs by 2022: CEO

Taco Bell: New jobs, new Chalupa
Taco Bell: New jobs, new Chalupa

Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol says that the company is on track to add 100,000 new jobs in the U.S. over the next five years.

The burrito executive appeared on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Thursday to tout the company's newest menu innovations — a Naked Chicken Chalupa due out at the end of January nationwide — and its commitment to employment.

Back in November, the company said that it hoped to grow to 8,000 locations nationally by 2022 (and 9,000 globally).

"Obviously, we love to talk about our food, but it's the great employees that make it," Niccol said. "With every restaurant we build, that's an opportunity to hire 35 to 40 new employees."

Niccol noted that Taco Bell is a first job for many young people and hopes to be able to provide that experience for more folks in the coming years. He is aware that the younger age group has a higher turnover, but explained that some employees come in as teenagers and can quickly rise through the ranks.

"We have people that join us for a short period of time and then go on to do other careers," he said. "And then we also have people that join us and choose to stay with Taco Bell and ultimately become restaurant general managers or chief operating officer or other areas of the company."

Taco Bell has grown from a $7 billion business to a $10 billion business over the last five years, according to Niccol. He hopes to reach $15 billion in global system sales by 2022 with the addition of these new chains.