Jones Lang LaSalle's retail specialist team is hunting for properties for a 20-store expansion planned by fast-food chain Wendy's throughout New Zealand.
The property consultants say the timing could not be better with the way the market has moved lately.
Martin Hudson, retail director at JLL's Auckland office, said he was confident they could secure good deals.
"The property market softening we are seeing at the moment means that landlords are becoming much more realistic about lease terms and rental rates," he said.
JLL retail specialist Chris Beasleigh said the first new Wendy's site had already been bought, near Wellington.
Neither JLL nor Wendy's would say exactly where, although it is understood to be at Paraparaumu. Full consent has not yet been granted but construction is expected to start next year, with the store planned to open late next year.
Beasleigh said JLL wanted to find a mixture of sites Wendy's could either buy or lease.
Wendy's has 14 outlets in Auckland and one in Tauranga. Last March it shut an outlet on a corner site in the middle of Takapuna.
Danielle Lendich, chief executive of Wendco (NZ), which owns the master franchise for the Wendy's chain in New Zealand, said the Takapuna store had shut because the rent was rising but there was inadequate carparking and no drive-through available.
Hudson said Wendy's was not looking for CBD sites like Takapuna any longer.