A KFC store is set to return to central Christchurch by 2020 on Colombo Street, near Hereford Street. Until now, there has been hesitation among fast-food franchises to return to the city following the damage of the Christchurch earthquakes.
Before the earthquakes, several fast-food chains had stores on the same Colombo Street block, including, KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King. However, due to concerns surrounding levels of foot traffic and the issues involved with drive-thrus in the CBD, they refrained from reopening.
KFC’s new store will be a modern take on the classic store layout. The restaurant will include open-plan seating, digital ordering kiosks and table service. Geraldine Oldham, Restaurant Brands marketing general manager, said that the company was really excited to reintroduce KFC to the Christchurch CBD.
Reintroducing businesses like this places importance in the city that will hopefully revitalise the CBD. Chris Wilkinson, managing director of retail commercial strategists First Retail Group, said that businesses like KFC are “long game players” and indicate “greater confidence in the city.” Wilkinson hopes that KFC’s build will encourage other fast-food joints to do the same thing.
Deon Swiggs, a Councillor, said that it was good to see a more varied range of offerings in the central city. “This is the type of thing that the CBD is missing. Hopefully, it will bring a different type of person into the area.”