September 17, 2014

Culinary academy students are probably already familiar with the products of Yum! Brands, whether or not they’re aware of it. The appropriately named company is the conglomerate that developed and owns some of America’s most popular fast food options, such as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken. While these restaurants may not be at the top of any amateur chef’s “hot spot” list, it’s worth taking note of an exciting new project being debuted by Yum! in Dallas.

According to Business Week, Yum! opened the first location of its newest venture, Bahn Shop, Friday, Sept.12 in Dallas, with a second location set to follow shortly at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. The restaurant is a test location for Yum! before potentially expanding the idea into new markets. Simply put, the brand is looking to gauge the reaction of local diners to an expanded market for quickly prepared Vietnamese sandwiches. Bahn Mi sandwiches, thought to be popular among foodie-crowds, feature a baguette and a variety of meat and vegetable options topped with cilantro, aioli, pickled carrot and daikon?, as well as an array of Thai or Vietnamese spices.

The move is believed by many to be a direct challenge to Chipotle, another fast-food alternative that has made a killing by offering healthier, well-prepared options to its patrons. Though this analysis cannot be directly confirmed, it does seem to be supported by recent events. Yum! brands recently opened U.S. Taco Co., which is debuting in the southwest but, as of yet, has no plans to expand to Texas.

Located directly across from the main campus of Southern Methodist University, Bahn Shop could capitalize a great deal on hungry college students looking for late night food.