Restaurant Brands chief executive Russel Creedy has quashed rumours of US mexican fast food chain Taco Bell coming to New Zealand, after a Taco Bell branded billboard appeared in Ponsonby, fuelling speculation.
The billboard which reads "because Ponsonby Road needs another Mexican restaurant", is branded with the Taco Bell logo, but Creedy said the billboard was nothing to do with Restaurant Brands, which would likely own the rights to the New Zealand franchise if it did move here.
"Somebody's just used and abused the brand logo of the Taco Bell organisation but as far as Restaurant Brands is concerned we are not looking at it at all at the moment," Creedy said.
"We've got Carl's Jr to bed down and get going and I was surprised to see it."
Creedy said he believed the billboard was part of a protest against Mexican restaurants in the Ponsonby area in general.
Restaurant Brands had stated its intention to introduce the Taco Bell brand into New Zealand a few years ago, but this was put on hold after its parent company American fast food giant Yum Brands, pulled back on a roll-out of the brand into new markets outside the US.
The company had struggled to enter new countries, pulling out of several of its markets including the United Arab Emirates, Poland and Singapore as well as Australia, which it entered in the late 1990's.
Despite excitement from fans of the fast food brand, Creedy said the move to New Zealand was "not happening".