Tex-Mex fast food chain Taco Bell will open its second store on Shortland St in downtown Auckland by March next year.
Taco Bell, operated by NZX-listed Restaurant Brands, which also operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr, has grand plans for the Mexican-inspired food brand. Chief executive Russel Creedy says the company plans to have 25 Taco Bells trading in New Zealand over the next five years - though he says that target is conservative, and it plans to open more if real estate allows for it.
In November, Taco Bell opened its first New Zealand store in LynnMall in New Lynn to an impressive turnout. The fast food operator serves tacos, burritos and quesadillas, along with frozen margaritas, beer and an alcoholic drinks menu.
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Restaurant Brands has applied for a liquor license for its latest store underway, set to open at 3 Shortland St, to enable it to sell alcohol until 1am.
The Shortland St store had initially been planned to open as its first local store but due to the delayed opening of Precinct Properties' $1 billion Commercial Bay in downtown Auckland, it had pushed plans back by about three months, Creedy told the Herald in October.
Wellington and Christchurch would be the next cities to get Taco Bell stores next year, Creedy said.
Restaurant Brands also owns the rights to the Taco Bell brand in Australia, and has begun its store expansion there too.
The company, 75 per cent owned by Mexico's Finaccess Capital, hopes to have at least 40 Taco Bell locations, including drive-thru locations, across the Tasman within five years.
"The brand has huge potential, New Zealand alone, it's foreseeable to have 50-60 Taco Bells at least going forward. That would address the main urban centres."
Restaurant Brands is set to spend at least $65 million on the Taco Bell roll-out in Australasia in the next five years, he said.