When you have a hankering for a Doritos Locos Taco, nothing else will do. Unfortunately for residents of a small Alaskan town, satisfying that craving means making a flight to Anchorage — some 400 miles away. That’s why folks in Bethel, Alaska were thrilled when flyers began to appear around town announcing the arrival of their very own Taco Bell. Sadly those flyers turned out to be a hoax — and residents were left, once again, bereft of destinations for an emergency 2 a.m. nacho bell grande fix.
(MORE: Taco Bell Introducing More Upscale Menu Items)
Taco Bell executives learned of the hoax and decided to play Enchirito hero and fly in a feast. According to MSNBC, the company airlifted enough ingredients from Anchorage to make 10,000 Doritos Locos Tacos. “If we can feed people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can feed people in Bethel,” company CEO Greg Creed told MSNBC. The effort, which Taco Bell dubbed “Operation Alaska,” was a savvy marketing move and a delicious dinner all rolled into one, burrito style. The operation garnered thousands of Facebook likes and fans were able to follow the long-distance delivery as Taco Bell tweeted out a a series of photos of the air drop.
The 6,200 residents of Bethel get to divide up the 950 pounds of seasoned beef, 300 pounds of lettuce, 150 pounds of cheddar cheese, 500 pounds of reduced fat sour cream and 300 pounds of tomatoes that the Taco Bell donated for the free town feast.
So where did the rumor start that Taco Bell was coming to Bethel in the first place? The hoax started as a juvenile prank, where flyers were posted around the town, about 40 miles up the Kuskokwim River from the Bering Sea, announcing the opening and including a phone number to call to inquire about job openings. The number belonged to the prankster’s victim. While the victim may have had a lot of unwelcome phone calls, it was the whole town of Bethel who got hurt. Luckily Taco Bell knows a good customer service deed when it sees one and was there to save the day.
Watch a video of the Taco Bell helicopter touching down in Bethel: