South Island-based sandwich chain New York Deli is set to expand into the North Island, with a focus on Auckland. New York Deli was established in Christchurch 15 years ago and currently has three stores.

The business was taken over by former Burger King executive Jack Meertens and Mike Parkinson in 2016 after it went through a rough patch following the 2011 earthquakes. Two stores were forced to close in the aftermath.

"We revamped the whole model,” Meertens said. “When we took it over it wasn't set up to actually expand throughout the country with multiple stores. We've opened one store since, and we're now looking to expand nationwide as we're ready for it.”

The company is currently in talks with franchisees in Auckland, looking at potential sites in the CBD, Ponsonby or Newmarket. They are also looking at opening a store in Wellington and Dunedin.

"We're hoping to expand into Christchurch first but we are looking to go nationwide as soon as we can," he said. "We're advertising at the moment for Dunedin, Queenstown, in talks with people in Hamilton, and Tauranga. We're looking for franchisees in different places."

Meertens and Parkinson worked with Burger King for 15 years, opening 75 stores in that time. They then started Carl’s Jr in New Zealand, opening the first eight stores. The pair are looking to take New York Deli overseas, once the gap in the domestic market has been filled.