Concern raised as Carl's Jr store opens

By Christopher Adams


Restaurant Brands will officially add a fourth business to its stable when the company opens its first Carl's Jr store in Mangere tomorrow.


The NZX-listed firm - which also operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks in New Zealand - last year bought the rights to operate the American fast-food chain in this country from US-based CKE Restaurants, which owns the brand.


Another franchisee, part-owned by former All Black Michael Jones, already runs four Carl's Jr stores in Glen Innes, Takinini, Henderson and Pukekohe, and has the option to open more sites in Auckland.


Restaurant Brands planned to establish 35 to 60 Carl's Jr stores and invest $10 million into the brand each year, chief executive Russel Creedy said.


Mangere Budgeting Services chief executive Darryl Evans said the job opportunities the new Carl's Jr store had created were positive, but the area - which had high rates of obesity and diabetes - needed another fast- food joint like it needed "a hole in the head".


"When we're doing budget plans and looking at people's bank statements, unfortunately fast food is consistently on them [the statements]," Evans said, adding that Mangere's KFC outlet was "consistently packed".


Creedy said the Mangere Carl's Jr would employ almost 60 staff.


Tim Morris, a retail analyst with market research firm Coriolis, said Restaurant Brands should not have too much trouble getting 10 Carl's Jr stores up and running, but the burger market was already crowded and establishing 60 stores would be a lot harder.


Restaurant Brands shares, which have gained 30 per cent this year, closed unchanged yesterday at $2.60.

- The Aucklander

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