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Current as of 18/09/14 07:40PM NZST

Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Wendy's in High Court drive through battle

The Wendy's restaurant chain has gone to the High Court to try and stop a rival blocking one of the exits to its drive through lanes. Photo / NZ Herald
The Wendy's restaurant chain has gone to the High Court to try and stop a rival blocking one of the exits to its drive through lanes. Photo / NZ Herald

Wendy's has gone to the High Court at Auckland after a development of a rival fast-food restaurant blocked an exit from one of the burger chain's Auckland stores.

The Wendy's in question, in Manukau, is in a commercial complex on the corner of Great South Road and Ronwood Ave which is owned by Wiri Licensing Trust.

The operator of the Wendy's chain, Wendco (NZ), has a lease with this trust which gives its customers the right to use several routes to enter and exit that part of the complex, court documents say.

One of these is across land formerly used by a Mobil service station, which gave Wendy's drive-through customers the ability to exit the complex into Great South Road.

This exit gave these customers the ability to turn both left and right into Great South Road and also straight ahead.

"That is not the case with other exits, which become subject to severe traffic flows at peak periods," the High Court's Justice Graham Lang said this month.

The Mobil has been demolished and the development of the site for a new fast food restaurant - run by one of Wendco's competitors - has begun. This restaurant will be run by Restaurant Brands and so is likely to be either a Carl's Jr or a KFC outlet.

Last month, a contractor put up a fence around the construction site, which meant Wendy's customers could not get out onto Great South Road using that particular exit.

Wendco now wants an injunction to stop the trust from blocking that exit, which is due to be heard next month.

In the meantime, the fast-food chain went to the HIgh Court earlier this month seeking "urgent relief" before Justice Graham Lang.

Justice Lang visited the complex in Manukau before this hearing to see the state of the development and the "manner in which Wendy's drive through customers are entering and leaving the restaurant".

"The scale and extent of the earthworks that are now underway is such that the interests of Wendy's customers would not be served by simply opening the fence to allow access to the site as was previously the case," the judge said.

Justice Lang said granting the urgent relief would amount to an order requiring the trust to both take down the fence and to construct a roadway re-establishing access to the relevant exit.

He said this would be "premature" and so declined to grant Wendco's request.

See his judgement here:

Restaurant Brands runs Carl's Jr and KFC and will operate the fast-food outlet causing the issues in this case. The company has not yet responded to questions about which restaurant is being built on the site.

Their lawyers are keeping a "watching brief" on this case but the company is not a party to the proceeding at this point.

- NZ Herald

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