Former All Black Justin Marshall is bringing a popular Australian mobile spit-roast business to New Zealand.
The Auckland franchise of Coast to Coast The Golden Roast was launched with a function at the Ponsonby Rugby Club last night.
Queenstown-based Marshall, who has become the catering brand's New Zealand franchisor and will run the head office here with wife Nicolle, said he was looking to sell around 17 additional franchise territories and take the business nationwide.
The Golden Roast, which has more than 60 franchise operators in Australia, caters for events such as weddings, birthdays and corporate functions. The meat is cooked on site.
Marshall said he was approached by Phil Hosking, who founded The Golden Roast in Australia in 1983, about launching the brand here.
"He said he had always followed my career in conjunction with [former Wallabies captain] George Gregan and he'd always considered bringing his company into New Zealand," Marshall said. "He thought that with my profile, maybe I'd be interested. It kind of went from there to be honest."
Marshall said he had done his due diligence on the business and there was potential for it to do well in this country. The Golden Roast will face competition from a number of existing operators offering spit-roast catering services.
"There's always a risk element with any business you enter into and I'm very well aware of that," Marshall said. "At the end of the day you've got to be at the coal face and work hard to make sure the business is a success."
He said The Golden Roast in New Zealand was a partnership between himself and Hosking.
"Phil will always retain a certain percentage of shares in New Zealand."
A franchise territory cost $55,000, plus equipment costs such as a van and roasting equipment.
Justin Marshall is a Herald columnist, with his views on Super Rugby published on Mondays and Fridays.
• 40 years old.
• Played 81 tests for the All Blacks between 1995 and 2005.
• Owned interest in hotel and bar in Britain while playing rugby in Europe.
• Will continue his role as Herald columnist and Sky Sport rugby commentator while running catering business.