Del Taco Trademarks
Please note: Gerben IP does not represent Del Taco. This page is provided for informational purposes and reflects information available in public USPTO records.
September 7, 2023
Del Taco is an American fast food restaurant chain specializing in American-style Mexican cuisine, as well as offering other American foods such as fries, burgers, and shakes. The company is led by John D. Cappasola Jr., with headquarters in Lake Forest, California.
In 2021, Jack in the Box announced it was acquiring Del Taco, with the finalization of the acquistion occurring in March 2022. Del Taco can be found across 16 states, with about 600 different locations.
Del Taco’s menu items appeal to various tastes, with the company’s emphasis resting on value and quality. Popular menu items include tacos, quesadillas, burritos, crinkle-cut fries, nachos, shakes, breakfast burritos, and Double Del Cheeseburgers.
Let’s look at the company’s history, products, marketing, and trademarks.
Del Taco Company History
Ed Hackbarth and David Jameson opened the first Del Taco restaurant in Yermo, California, on September 16, 1964. The first restaurant was called “Casa Del Taco,” and it made $169 (about $1,477) on the first business day.
After such tremendous success with the first location, two more were opened in Barstow, one in Needles, and one in Corona. The Corona restaurant was the first to feature a drive-through window.
After installing the kitchen equipment for the Corona store, Dick Naugle was impressed with the business and decided to join Del Taco as a third partner. In 1966, the trio launched Red-E-Food Systems Inc., with the goal of franchising the restaurant. The original Del Taco sun logo was created the same year.
Dick Naugle did not stay with Del Taco for long, leaving the business in the ‘70s to start another fast food restaurant, Naugles. In 1973, Del Taco dropped the name “Casa”, and Red E. Food Systems Inc. was officially renamed Del Taco, Inc. By this time, there was one new Del Taco opening every month.
Three years later, Hackbarth and Jameson sold Del Taco to a group of investors. These investors would then sell the exclusive rights to use and develop the brand in locations across the U.S. with the exception of California, Yuma, Arizona, and Eugene, Oregon. These exclusive rights were sold to W.R. Grace and Company, which was a chemicals company.
W.R. Grace and Company then founded Del Taco Restaurants Inc. of Dallas, Texas, and DTG Inc, as new subsidiaries, to oversee its fast food acquisitions. With this deal, Del Taco expanded rapidly, growing from 50 restaurants in 1977 to 100 locations in just one year.
By 1981, there were approximately 350 Del Taco restaurants located almost exclusively in California. In February 1989, 171 Naugle’s fast-food outlets merged with Del Taco restaurants. The man behind this move was Anwar Soliman, who was also the mastermind behind the purchase of the expansion rights for Del Taco across the U.S. in 1977.
The Del Taco – Naugle’s merger caused a boom in business, with locations spreading as far east as Hickory, North Carolina. Shortly thereafter, in the 1980s, Del Taco started staying open all night.
Del Taco’s expansion has continued through 2020, with the company announcing plans to enter Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Del Taco Availability, Products, and Marketing
Del Taco operates its chain of 597 restaurants in 16 states. Most of these restaurants can be found in California, with the rest sprinkled through Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Idaho, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.
A handful of locations can be found east of Mississippi, as well as one location in the U.S. territory of Guam. Las Vegas, Nevada boasts the most Del Tacos in any single city.
The standard Del Taco Menu contains Soft Tacos, Hard Shell Tacos, Quesadillas, Burritos, Coo-coo Krusties, Nachos, Crinkle Cut French Fries, Deluxe Taco Salad, Chili Cheddar Fries, Bacon Del Cheeseburger, Double Del Cheeseburger, Triple Del Cheeseburger, Shakes, Fries, and a minimum of four types of Dinner Burritos.
Another popular menu item, the bean and cheese burrito with green or red sauce, was introduced in 1967.
Del Taco introduced plant-based Beyond Tacos nationwide on April 25, 2019, in partnership with Beyond Meat. Since this introduction, the restaurant chain has created several other vegan and vegetarian menu items using plant-based crumbles sourced from Beyond Meat.
These menu items include Beyond Avocado Taco, the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito, and the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito.
On January 29, 2020, Del Taco launched a new dollar menu consisting of items that cost a dollar or less before tax.
Del Taco introduced its first mascot in 1999. However, the mascot caused legal troubles between the company, Zorro Productions Inc., and Tristar Pictures Inc., with the latter two companies claiming that the mascot infringed their rights to the trademark Zorro figure.
The suit was settled in January 2000 and Del Taco discontinued the use of the mascot.
Del Taco Trademarks
Del Taco has sought or obtained a federal registration for about 14 trademarks. These include “BUCK AND UNDER MENU,” “DEL INFERNO,” and “PUP N’ TACO.”
In March 2014, Del Taco obtained federal trademark registration for “BUCK AND UNDER MENU” and uses the trademark for its restaurant services.
Del Taco also obtained federal trademark registration for ”DEL INFERNO” on August 2, 2016. The company used the trademark for its hot sauce.
Please note: While we make every effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate and up-to-date, we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy or completeness. If you have any questions regarding a specific entity in Gerben's Trademark Library®, please contact us and we will work with you to provide the information you need.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Mexican sandwiches. FIRST USE: 20220310. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20220310.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20220310. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20220310.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20220901. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20220901.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20230420. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20230420.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20200130. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20200130.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20160623. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20160623.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Tacos. FIRST USE: 20190502. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20190502.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Prepared meals consisting primarily of burritos. FIRST USE: 20180201. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20180201.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Hot sauce. FIRST USE: 19940526. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19940526.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Hot sauce. FIRST USE: 20080428. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20080428.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Tostadas. FIRST USE: 20120315. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20120315.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20151122. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20151122.
IC 030. US 046. G & S Burritos. FIRST USE: 20130709. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20130709.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20130424. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20130424.
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S Restaurant services. FIRST USE: 20100100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20100100.
IC 029. US 046. G & S [ MEXICAN FOOD PRODUCT; NAMELY, A PREPARED CHILD'S MEAL CONSISTING PRIMARILY OF MEAT, FISH, OR POULTRY, AND OPTIONALLY INCLUDING FRENCH FRIES ]. FIRST USE: 20011205. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20011205.
IC 030. US 046. G & S PREPARED CHILD'S MEAL CONSISTING PRIMARILY OF A HAMBURGER SANDWICH, A TACO, A BURRITO, OR A QUESADILLA. FIRST USE: 20011205. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20011205.