‘Hi Taco Bell’

Every day for one year, junior Nico Smart sent the same message to Taco Bell’s Instagram. Last week they replied back.

Junior+Nico+Smart+clad+in+Taco+Bell+merchandise+the+company+sent+as+a+gift.

Lia Choi

Junior Nico Smart clad in Taco Bell merchandise the company sent as a gift.

Lia Choi, Staff Writer

After a year of messaging fast-food restaurant Taco Bell’s Instagram account every day at 5:45 p.m, junior Nico Smart finally got a response from the popular food chain last week.

Since Aug. 14, 2021, Smart had been direct messaging Taco Bell with the same message, “Hi Taco Bell 😃,” and two Sundays ago marked the one-year anniversary.

Smart posted a video on his TikTok chronicling his endeavor. The post quickly gained attention and went viral, reaching over 7.5 million views and 1.1 million likes.

He claimed there was no initial reason or experience that drove him to message the company and that it was just for fun.

“One day, I went on Taco Bell’s Instagram and realized I could message them,” Smart said. “So I just messaged them ‘Hi Taco Bell,’ and continued on with my day.”

Two days later as Smart sent his usual message, he noticed that his message was marked seen and he received a response from them reading “Hi.”
“I honestly wasn’t expecting a response because I didn’t think my TikTok would go anywhere,” he said. “I was tripping out.”

Not long after, a video exact to the format of Smart’s viral post was posted on Taco Bell’s official TikTok page, revealing the sending of their response. As of now, the video has 3.7 million views.

Smart has stopped sending them messages since hearing back. Additionally, a gift box was recently mailed to his house full of Taco Bell apparel, including a hat, fanny pack, shirt, gift cards as well as a note saying “Hi.”

Smart said he has gotten a lot of attention from this experience both at and outside of school, and some have even tried to follow in his footsteps. He also gained an estimated 30,000 TikTok followers and currently has over 31,000.

Although he is grateful for the recognition and support, Smart does not plan to further his relationship with Taco Bell or message any other brands.

“Before, I posted old camera stuff,” he said of his vintage hobby. ”I kind of want to keep on doing that and not just be ‘The Guy Who Messages Taco Bell.’”