Restaurant Brands is a corporate franchisee and specialises in managing multi-site branded food retail chains. Its restaurant support centre and corporate office is located in Penrose in Auckland. Restaurant Brands is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange under NZX code RBD. As at February 2014, Restaurant Brands has 176 stores: 90 KFC, 51 Pizza Hut, 27 Starbucks and 8 Carl's Jr. stores. It employs over 3,700 staff and every day serves over 60,000 customers throughout New Zealand.
Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd was formed to acquire the New Zealand restaurant and takeaway operations of KFC and Pizza Hut in 1997. The decision to float the company was made by the owners of the time – PepsiCo Inc (now Yum! Restaurants International). The prospectus issued at the time stated that “as a listed company with its own dedicated management, board and financial resources, Restaurant Brands will be closer to the New Zealand market and have the potential to better capture growth opportunities, strengthen its competitive position and improve operating performance”. Since the float of the company, Restaurant Brands has certainly capitalised on this position. Previous to Restaurant Brands' formation, the KFC and Pizza Hut brands were largely supported from Australia with a very small head count in the Auckland head office. When Restaurant Brands was created in 1997, all support operations, including Payroll, Marketing, Finance, Logistics and Property Development, were moved to the central Support Centre in Penrose, Auckland.
The company originally purchased 122 stores: 77 KFC stores, 43 Pizza Hut stores and two joint KFC and Pizza Hut stores. This number has grown significantly every year since. The stores are mainly located in metropolitan areas, but both brands are venturing into smaller towns more and more.
Restaurant Brands secured the New Zealand franchise for Starbucks Coffee in 1998. This was something of a coup at the time, given that Australia did not have an operator of the brand at that stage. The café chain opened its first store in Parnell, Auckland and now has 29 stores.
The Pizza Hut brand experienced major change in 2000. Home delivery is a high convenience concept, which has grown rapidly and will continue to do so. To capture this opportunity, the brand completely changed Pizza Hut from a dine-in business to a home delivery and takeaway operation. This was achieved by acquiring and rebranding the Eagle Boys chain. The first Eagle Boys store was converted to a Pizza Hut in June 2000 and the last store was converted just 13 weeks later. The majority are now home delivery carryout (delco) outlets. Pizza Hut now has a store within eight minutes drive time of 90% of Kiwi homes, 1000 home delivery drivers and a 900,000-person database. In 2011 Pizza Hut commenced selling a number of its smaller regional stores to independent franchisees. This process has continued and the Pizza Hut brand now has nearly 30 independent franchisees operating under the company's guidance.
In 2011, Restaurant Brands acquired the New Zealand franchise for Carl's Jr., an exciting new burger brand, entering a new phase of international growth. The brand commenced rolling out stores in late 2012 and expects to have more than 10 stores in operation by 2014.
Restaurant Brands leverages its operating capabilities on the brand strengths of its KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks franchisors: Yum! Restaurants International for KFC and Pizza Hut, Starbucks Coffee International for Starbucks and CKE Restaurants, Inc for Carl's Jr.