Fast-food outlet has big week

Palmerston North burger lovers have helped the city net a new world record, but New Zealand's other fast-food fans are vowing to take the title.

The new Wendy's restaurant, which opened late last month, has set a company record for the highest first-week sales at a new store.

Marketing manager Fay Stretch would not provide a specific dollar figure, but said sales at the Rangitikei St store were 16.5 per cent higher than at the previous record holder, a Christchurch outlet, and 35 per cent higher than in Paraparaumu, which opened last year.

"We always have a bit of a go to predict what we think a new store will do.

"That is very difficult though, because there are new staff and we have new equipment.

"But nobody expected what we have done in Palmerston North. It's exceeded all expectations."

Ms Stretch said the company expected sales to stay strong well into 2013.

"There are still people in Palmerston North who are yet to try us out because it's been so busy."

But plotting exactly how sales could or should go was hard, she said: "We couldn't figure that out in Christchurch, because we got closed by the earthquake before we had a chance to plateau."

Fans of Wendy's took to the company's Facebook page after the news was posted on it.

Some claimed the figures would be dwarfed if Wendy's opened a store in other cities.

"Open in Whangarei . . . they'll be there 24/7," Taynah Hill posted.

Luke Chanlder posted: "Dear Wendys, reopen in Christchurch and you'll blow your Palmy sales out of the water. Cheers, People of Christchurch."

Some people seemed concerned about the figures.

"And that's why NZ is the world' third [most] obese country per capita," Mike Adamson posted.

The announcement came after Carl's Jr opened on the corner of Princess and Ferguson streets this week.

Burger King will open its third location in Palmerston North on December 20.

Carl's Jr sales figures were not available, but a company spokesman said they were looking to hit the $90,000 the Mangere outlet made in its first five days.

The new restaurants were panned by Massey University nutritional expert Jane Coad, who said the high student population was probably a drawcard for the fast-food companies.

Taking into account Burger King, KFC, Wendy's, Oporto and McDonald's, Palmerston North will have 10 major fast-food outlets, more than Rotorua (seven), New Plymouth (four) and Tauranga (seven).

Manawatu Standard