Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday afternoon the country would move out of alert level 4 after Anzac weekend and remain at alert level 3 for at least a further two weeks.
This means that after 11.59pm on Monday 27 April Kiwis will finally be able to get their hands on the McDonald’s or Domino’s fix they’ve been craving, but possibly not right away.
Speaking directly after the PM's announcement, a McDonald's spokesperson said the company would be working hard over the next week to get as many restaurants open on Tuesday as it can.
"There are a number of factors we have to consider, including the time our suppliers needs to ramp back up, getting stock around the country, and helping our franchisees and their staff get ready to open safe and happy restaurants,” the spokesperson explained.
Domino's said it would take 24 hours for the first of its stores to be ready to deliver after lockdown.
Earlier on Monday, McDonald's managing director Dave Howse indicated ingredient supply issues could impact opening times. Lettuce, for example, could normally be picked, processed and shipped to restaurants within 48 hours of an order, but some products required up to ten days.
Ardern announced last week that although bars, restaurants and cafes would remain closed under alert level 3, food outlets could deliver or offer takeaways if their operations were contactless.
For McDonald's, that means 130 of its 170 stores would open for drive-thru and delivery via third-party services Uber Eats and Delivereasy. Restaurants with no drive-thru, or those located inside food courts or malls, would not reopen under level 3.
Cameron Toomey, CEO of pizza chain Domino's, said the first of the country's 133 stores would be ready to begin deliveries about 24 hours after the country moved to alert level 3, with the rest open by the end of the third day.
Some Domino's menu items, including stuffed crusts, thick shakes, and ice creams would be unavailable because staff could not maintain social distancing while preparing them.
"Pizza goes down the line into the oven then gets cut, so staff can maintain those distancing guidelines, but some items require people to leave one station and go to another," said Toomey.
Fast food chains expect to be busy, with Kiwis rushing out to satisfy cravings. McDonalds, which typically sells around 80 million burgers a year, was expecting to see a run on classic cheeseburgers and Big Macs, as well as nuggets, fries, shakes and sundaes.