Wendy's coup for Waikato bacon
Come Monday, Kiwis eating at one of New Zealand's favourite fast food franchises will be chomping down on some premium Waikato bacon.
Te Awamutu-based Magills Butchery, with an award-winning bacon reputation, has scored a major deal by becoming the bacon supplier for Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers franchises nationally.
It is New Zealand's first fast food chain to use 100 per cent domestically farmed and produced bacon.
The thick-cut manuka-smoked streaky bacon will be in stores, and in burgers, on Monday and pickles are now the only foodstuff Wendy's imports.
The deal will have Magills supplying between 500 and 1000 kilograms of the meat a week to the chain's 17 sites nationwide. That amount is expected to grow as new franchises open.
"At Wendy's we have a huge volume of bacon usage and Kiwis love bacon," Wendy's New Zealand chief executive Danielle Lendich said.
"So it was Magills' challenge to source enough product to keep up with our demand, which is growing, with five to six stores coming on in the next 18 months."
Otorohanga-based Waratah Farms supplies the animals and Magills uses a slow, traditional curing method, fitting in with the Wendy's old-fashioned theme.
"The pork board has been really supportive and they see this as a huge opportunity for New Zealand pork so we're hoping Kiwis love it," Lendich said.
Magills managing director Mike van der Hoeven said the deal had strengthened the business and he had taken on another two staff.
"It's huge, it's real stability," he said.
"We're very proud to be pushing a New Zealand-made product. It's a real plus - it's not just a local pig farmer, it's packaging companies and ingredients companies that we are buying product off.
"It's a win-win for all of New Zealand."
Representatives from Wendy's United States headquarters had made a full sanitation and plant audit at Magills and Waratah farms, checking that the meat and procedures were compatible with the company's ethos. Mr van der Hoeven spent about $200,000 on equipment such as metal detectors to meet requirements.
Magills also supplies a handful of New World stores with the bacon and accompanying Vandys-branded sausages, and Mr van der Hoeven hopes to open a factory in 2013 to cope with demand.
BURGER CHAIN ON TRACK
The wait for Wendy's is nearly over.
With resource consents approved for the two confirmed Hamilton sites of the old-fashioned hamburger chain, one in Te Rapa and the other in Greenwood Street, plans were on track for both stores to open in the first half of next year, said Wendy's New Zealand chief executive Danielle Lendich.
The building consent for Greenwood St is expected to come through in the next few weeks and the Te Rapa consent request has been submitted for approval.
Ms Lendich said it was hoped construction on the Greenwood St site would be under way before Christmas, ready for a March opening.
The company will start looking for managers for the sites before Christmas and the full staffing numbers for each site, which will be around 40 or 50, will be hired in the new year.
- © Fairfax NZ News