While Taco Bell menu prices are largely standardized across the nation, they may vary slightly due to factors such as transportation costs, supply of ingredients, minimum wage laws and promotional offers. Prices may rise or fall over time as well, caused by shifting demand and changes in profit margins.
The largest factors in determining prices at a fast food restaurant are supply factors such as the cost of ingredients, labor, real estate and utilities. Taco Bell is known for low prices even among fast food restaurants, largely due to lower overhead costs in areas such as labor and ingredients.
The chain, which is operated by Yum! Brands, also yields a relatively high profit margin for the fast food industry, at 18 percent as of 2014. In terms of fluctuations in price, demand for individual items, promotional offers and supply of ingredients can cause the cost of various menu items to rise and fall over time. For example, the chain debuted a "$1 Dollar Cravings Menu" in 2014, which offered 11 items priced at $1; however, Time magazine notes that several items on the dollar menu actually cost less than a dollar before their inclusion, and have since gone up in price.