Company Contrast – Taco Bell {Issues: Life & Basic Freedoms}

Company Contrast – Taco Bell {Issues: Life & Basic Freedoms}

Each week 2ndVote takes a look at popular companies that score poorly  and then try to provide alternatives that either better align with your 2ndVote values or should be avoided to the best of your ability. This series is called Company Contrast – Navigating the Non-Profits, and the organizations we will be focusing on this week are Taco Bell (2.33) and Wendy’s (3.33). 

‘Tis the season for this question:

“Would you like to round up to the nearest dollar to support charity?”

Many of us are excited to answer “yes!” because “it’s that special time of year” and “no big deal it’s just a few extra cents more”. However, those few extra cents given by millions of customers across the country can accumulate into thousands and thousands of dollars to a cause we don’t even know about and we may not even support if we knew the truth about where that money was actually going.

Let’s start with Taco Bell. Taco Bell now provides the opportunity to round up to support education. “Supporting education” could have multiple meanings so 2ndVote had to look into it.

First, our current research has Taco Bell at a 2.33 overall score. Taco Bell scored low for the 2nd Amendment, Education, and Environment issues. They scored high on the Basic Freedoms issue and neutral for the Life and Civil Safe Society issues.

When they ask customers to round up to “support education”, they refer to the Taco Bell Foundation. The Taco Bell Foundation was created to support students from across the country through scholarships and local community organizations. According to their 2019 tax form, there were seven organizations listed as donation recipients. The organization that stood out was the Boys & Girls Club (2.67). The Taco Bell Foundation donated $421,334 to the Boys & Girls Club that year. The Boys & Girls Club has a 1.00 score on the Education issue because of their support for Common Core. Definitely answer “no” to rounding up!

Next, let’s take a look at a higher ranking fast food restaurant, Wendy’s (3.33). Wendy’s has a 3.33 score overall. Wendy’s scored the highest in the Life and Basic Freedoms issues but the lowest in the Environment issue. Wendy’s, through their Dave Thomas Foundation, donated to multiple pro-life organizations including Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities, which was featured in last week’s blog post. Wendy’s promotes adoption directly on their website and through different food promotions throughout the year. The current Frosty Key Tag promotion sounds like a great Christmas gift idea while supporting a pro-life cause at the same time.

Lastly, while looking at all of the fast food options in our Score Center, the lowest scores were Seattle’s Best Coffee (1.17), Starbucks (1.17), and McDonald’s (1.33). The most surprising was McDonald’s. Though McDonald’s is affiliated with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (3.00), it doesn’t change their support for multiple low-scoring causes including Susan G. Komen, which donates to Planned Parenthood, and the National Urban League, which supports sanctuary cities and Common Core.

In conclusion, when we are out Christmas shopping or traveling to visit loved ones this month, consider which drive thru will better support your pro-life, conservative values and research before you say “yes” to round up to the nearest dollar for charity. Our Score Center has a helpful feature where you can click on which type of business you want to learn about, including a “Food-Restaurant” section. Simply take a quick peek at the research before you decide your next on-the-go meal and further the support of conservative values in society at the same time.

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Corrie Christiaansen, Associate Researcher