Restaurant Brands is still looking for a buyer for its Starbucks chain after the global financial crisis stymied earlier attempts to sell the 41 stores.

Chief executive Russel Creedy said the company was more interested in selling the entire chain to one buyer but would consider selling to individual operators.

"We did have interest, unfortunately the financial crisis hit at a time that was inconvenient - it was difficult for people to borrow money."

The chain would be worth between $10 million and $20 million, he said.

Starbucks has never been a big earner for Restaurant Brands - in the past year it made $30.5 million compared with flagship KFC's $223 million revenue - but it is trading profitably

"We'd be quite happy selling the business as a going concern and reinvest that back into KFC," Creedy said.

In the meantime work was being done on running the Starbucks business more efficiently and improving food this year.

"Customers' expectations of food is higher than we're presenting at the moment in variety and overall choice."

Starbucks had sent a staff member from its Seattle headquarters to advise on how to improve performance.

The company was also pushing on with plans to sell selected Pizza Hut stores to owner-operators, again to free up cash to reinvest in KFC and possibly a new chain such as Taco Bell.

Creedy said there was strong interest from buyers.

"Owner-operators has been a successful model around the world for Pizza Hut - it's a hell of a good living to own your own little business, draw a salary and have something to retire on when you sell."

The renovation or building of new KFCs would continue.

Something not on the menu, however, is the Double Down - two pieces of fried chicken wrapped around bacon, cheese and jalapeno.

The 540-calorie parcel - 50 calories more than a Big Mac - has just been introduced in the United States, and is being gobbled up by consumers there.

But Creedy says that if it was introduced in New Zealand it would most likely be with grilled chicken.

He said the company had been bombarded with emails wanting to know when it would be on the menu.