New Zealand's first Taco Bell is set to open soon as Restaurant Brands has started the recruitment process, advertising for Auckland staff to start in mid-September.
The NZX-listed fast-food operator, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr restaurant chains in New Zealand and 36 Taco Bell stores in Hawaii and Guam, is seeking assistant managers for the long-awaited New Lynn store.
The restaurant will replace the space left behind the failed franchise Wagamama in the New Lynn Mall.
The now-departed chairman of Restaurant Brands confirmed to the Herald in July that New Zealand would get a Taco Bell store in New Lynn and a range of alcohol would be on the Mexican brand's menus.
Restaurant Brands have applied for a liquor licence for the store, which will cover Monday to Friday, 8am-1am.
Restaurants Brands plans to have two Taco Bell stores open in Auckland, and two in Sydney, this year. The remaining 50-odd will be rolled out across both countries by 2024.
Restaurant Brands group chief executive Russel Creedy gave a little update on the launch of Taco Bell in New Zealand earlier this year.
"Our newest brand Taco Bell presents an exciting opportunity which we are eager to get under way in New Zealand and Australia," he told shareholders.
"Our plans are already progressing with the first stores expected to open during the 2019 calendar year."
Creedy said the launch of Taco Bell in New Zealand and Australia was not expected to have a material effect on the group's FY20 earnings.
Restaurant Brands announced in April that it would not pay a final dividend after lifting annual earnings 3.3 per cent in the 2019 financial year.
It said that it wanted to retain cash for a capital spending programme that included the roll-out of 60 Taco Bell stores across Australasia.
As of February, Restaurant Brands had 283 stores across all brands, made up of 142 stores in New Zealand, 64 in Australia and 80 in Hawaii.
During the year the company refurbished 16 KFC stores and introduced self-serving kiosks. It also transitioned the New Zealand Pizza Hut business to a master franchise model with the sale of individual stores to franchisees.
Ted an Arkel retired as company chair at the end of the meeting. Jose Pares has been appointed as the new chairman.