Fast Food Giant Taco Bell Launching ‘Early Retirement Community’ Experience

Taco Bell is inviting people to “live mas” in the style of senior living residents, even if they are not of retirement age.

The fast food company this week announced “The Cantinas,” a two-day getaway planned for San Diego on August 17 and 18 where attendees ages 21 and over can enjoy a weekend of “senior-inspired, sun-soaked daytime recreation, retail and dining.”

Taco Bell is no stranger to events that “think outside the bun.” In the past, the company has created hotel concepts and even hosted weddings.


During the Cantinas event, attendees will partake in activities such as early-morning golf, aerobics and pickleball. Guests, who must already belong to Taco Bell’s rewards program, can buy either overnight passes or just for the day.

“There’s a common misconception that retirement unlocks the life you’ve been waiting for. And while that may be true for some, we don’t think you should have to wait until 55 to live the life you’re craving,” Taylor Montgomery, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer of Taco Bell, said in a press release. “The Cantinas early retirement community, just like our brand, represents a place where all generations can come together, regardless of age, to Live their Mas however they want.”

Promotional image for The Cantinas / courtesy Taco Bell

Although The Cantinas does not take place inside an actual senior housing community, nor is it geared toward older adults specifically, it is yet another indication that big brands like Margaritaville and Disney have senior living on their mind.


Legend Senior Living Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Christy Van Der Westhuizen told Senior Housing News that she sees The Cantinas as a “positive” for the senior living industry, as it encourages people to envision themselves living as a retiree.

“Do you want a laid-back lifestyle, or do you want something booming and exciting? It also gives people a ‘why wait’ mentality,” she told Senior Housing News. “I think it taps into a cool factor, but doing it in a tongue-in-cheek way.”

This isn’t the first time Taco Bell has marketed its products using older adults. More than a decade ago, the company released a Super Bowl ad featuring older adults “living mas” by leaping into pools in their underwear, dancing at club foam parties and getting tattoos.

Even if promotions like The Cantinas don’t actually represent how older adults live in senior living communities, Van Der Westhuizen said, “if anything, it provokes you to think about retirement, which I think is a positive in this case.”

“For me, the more we can talk about what retirement means, the more we are destigmatizing senior living,” she said.

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