Restaurant Brands will open its second Auckland Taco Bell store next week.
The fast food operator told the Herald that the Mexican-inspired brand's Shortland St restaurant in Auckland CBD would open at midday on June 16.
The company opened its first Taco Bell store in New Zealand seven months ago in New Lynn. The store has proven hugely popular, and in its first two months raked in $700,000 in sales.
In the first month, Taco Bell New Lynn sold 40,000 tacos and 18,000 burritos.
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Taco Bell's Auckland CBD store was originally planned to open earlier, but this was delayed due to the mandatory lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Restaurant Brands expects to open more Taco Bell stores before Christmas.
"Covid-19 has meant that our Taco Bell national roll out was temporarily slowed but we are pleased to be back opening restaurants and serving delicious tacos. The Shortland St site will be one of the first new Taco Bell restaurants to open, globally for the brand, since Covid-19 arrived and we couldn't be more excited for Kiwi fans," said Arif Khan, chief executive of Restaurant Brands.
The Auckland CBD store will reflect its central Auckland location and would feature a hand-painted mural inspired by Auckland City's landmarks, a digital jukebox and charging stations, Khan said.
The restaurant opening will be the second of a planned 60 across New Zealand and Australia over the next five years.
Restaurant Brands, which owns the local rights to Taco Bell, plans to open at least 25 Taco Bell restaurants throughout the country over the next five years. It will open a mix of dine-in and drive-thru locations.
Russel Creedy, group chief executive of Restaurant Brands, which also owns and operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr stores in New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii, earlier this year told the Herald that the company would be operating seven Taco Bell sites in New Zealand by the end of 2020.
This was prior to the global pandemic.
"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," Creedy said.
Outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are next to get Taco Bell stores, he said.
Restaurant Brands is set to spend at least $65 million on the Taco Bell roll-out in Australasia over the next five years.