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Taco Bell launches in Auckland, plots out 25 more stores

The first New Zealand Taco Bell store has opened in The Brickworks at New Lynn’s LynnMall, bringing the Mexican-inspired fast-food chain to local shores.

Launching on Tuesday, the store features a mural paying homage to west Auckland designed in collaboration with local artist Natasha Vermeulen, and design agency Stanley St.

General manager for Taco Bell Clark Wilson said the business often defied the conventions of fast food, and was excited to bring its social driven experience to New Zealand. 

The store also features an open kitchen allowing customers to see their food prepared, as well as offering free wifi, charging stations, kiosk ordering, and a self-serve jukebox.

“We are delighted to finally answer the demand from our passionate fans with the opening of New Zealand’s first Taco Bell restaurant at LynnMall,” said Taco Bell managing director of Asia Pacific Ankush Tuli. 

“We are excited to launch Taco Bell here in Auckland, in partnership with Restaurant Brands Group, and look forward to expanding throughout New Zealand with the goal of delighting our fans along the way.”

Franchise partner Restaurant Brands said it will launch up to 25 Taco Bell locations across New Zealand in the next five years, with the next restaurant to open in Q1 of next year. 

“While a priority for us has been on first launching the brand successfully in market, we can now shift our focus to the next phase,” Restaurant Brands Group chief executive Russel Creedy said. 

“At this stage, we are securing locations within the main metropolitans of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with the view to expanding further afield in the coming years.

“We are simultaneously rolling out in NSW and ACT in Australia, with a total estimated spend of $65 million across both markets over the next five years.”

Restaurant Brands recently revealed it had grown group sales by 2.7 per cent during the first half of FY20, though net profit had fallen 2 per cent due to the implementation of a new accounting standard, NZ IFRS 16, which knocked profit down by $2.9 million.

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