Auckland fast food restaurants gear up for ‘diehard fans’ expected at level 3

The McNuggets are on their way to Auckland.

The super city is set to enjoy takeout for the first time in 35 days on Wednesday night, and fast food businesses are bracing for some very busy first days for Auckland at Alert Level 3.

Fast food businesses in the city are placing orders and getting their stores ready before Wednesday, when Hell Pizza general manager Ben Cumming said fast food outlets expected about double their normal demand.

Hell Pizza chief executive Ben Cumming said stores were expecting double traffic.


Hell Pizza general manager Ben Cumming said stores were expecting double traffic.

He said all 28 Hell stores would be open from around noon Wednesday. At Level 4, store owners were allowed on-site to receive orders and clean stores prior to opening for contactless pickups and deliveries when Auckland went to Alert Level 3.

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Their prep work made it possible to offer a full menu to “die-hard fans” who would order on Wednesday, he said.

When the rest of the country went to Alert Level 3, he said stores were “twice as busy” for the first few days.

“Like other companies, we would expect about two days of extreme activity and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday it should get closer to what we would call normal,” he said.

The first take-out dinners at level 3 in Merivale, Christchurch.


The first take-out dinners at level 3 in Merivale, Christchurch.

Some of the take-and-drive shops must have been so busy that an Auckland counselor called on Auckland DHBs to run vaccination centers in the queues. Thing asked KFC and McDonad if he was interested in the idea, but had yet to receive a response.

Loretta Roberts, national director of the Advisory Center on Immunization (IMAC), said bringing the vaccines to sites where people are already lining up is good for improving access.

Strong take-out demand and supply issues at the start of level three have meant KFC and McDonald’s have scaled down their menus to cope.

KFC wouldn’t have all of its burgers available, a Restaurant Brands spokesperson said, but the full menu would be phased in over the week. “This is simply due to the delays in the delivery of the products,” they said.

Customers and police await the opening of KFC in Porirua.

Jericho Rock-Archer

Customers and police await the opening of KFC in Porirua.

Likewise, McDonald’s said some items will not be on the menu immediately – but as more delivery trucks arrive at Level 3, more items will be added.

“The menus are restricted for several reasons. The first is to help suppliers like our bakery produce the most popular types of buns. So that means things like bagels don’t get produced right away, ”a McDonald’s spokesperson said.

All 45 McDonald’s stores in Auckland would open at 7 a.m., he said.

“Planning for the reopening started as soon as the restaurants closed,” he said.

“Based on previous experience, we usually see an initial rush of enthusiastic and impatient customers, and then things calm down within a few days. “

No fast food chains Thing who they spoke to knew, or would say, how many of their frontline staff were vaccinated.

A Burger King spokesperson said it was considered “personal information.” Hell said the information was not held nationally, but like other companies, there was currently no requirement for staff to be vaccinated – although this was encouraged.

At Restaurant Brands stores, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr, and Taco Bell, only Pizza Hut would offer contactless pickup. The other stores are said to be drive-thru or delivery-only, he said in a statement.

Dominos chief executive Cameron Toomey said the company was offering free lava cakes to encourage people to choose contactless deliveries on Wednesday night.

McDonalds said drive-thru are likely to move slower than normal, with store staff working with more restrictions. The spokesperson urged customers to be patient, but assured Thing there would be plenty of Maccas favorites in store.

The queue for McDonald's in Blenheim at the start of level 3.

Brya Ingram / Stuff

The queue for McDonald’s in Blenheim at the start of level 3.

He said stores were stocking up on Big Macs, cheeseburgers, McNuggets and fries before the alert level change.

If it was too crowded on Wednesday, don’t panic, the lines were to decrease as the week went on.

“As we saw in Wellington a few weeks ago, morning customer volumes were moderate. We had lunch and dinner crowds, but not the huge early morning lines like in 2020, ”he said.

Dominos was also asked what happened to his delivery drones, which received widespread media coverage in 2016 for making truly contactless deliveries – but he did not respond.

About Walter Bartholomew

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