(Posted by Kristin)

New Zealand seems to have taken to some of our US fast food brands, but is by no means overrun. Here is what we have found, in order of popularity:

– Subway: Ok, New Zealanders appear to love them some Subway sandwiches! This was by far the most popular chain, and we saw these everywhere, in towns big and small. In fact I am looking at one just now as I write this.

– Burger King: Originally tied with Micky D’s in popularity, a visit to Auckland put them over the top — we saw three of them within ten blocks, and all on the same side of the street. Generally speaking, they seem to be pushing the Open 24 Hours and the drive thru (sic) angles.

– McDonalds: These are often dominated by a McCafe, which serves espresso drinks! We did stop into one in a town where theirs was the only free wifi game in town…

– KFC: These usually have a sleek design and a drive thru, and are somewhat common.

– Domino’s: We saw maybe 2-3 of these, usually tucked away on a commercial street in the bigger cities.

– Starbucks: We only saw a few of these, and only in the bigger cities — we did see a bunch in Auckland. In NZ “coffee” pretty much always means an espresso drink, so it is probably rather tough competition (I mean even McD’s is in the game!) Free wifi might give Starbucks a slight edge over other coffee shops, but they are catching on…

– Pizza Hut: We saw only one of these…maybe in Christchurch?

– Wendy’s: We didn’t see our first one until three weeks into our trip, in North Palmerston (we hadn’t heard of that town either until we went through it on the bus.) Spotted another in Auckland.

These we saw only in Auckland (a city of 1.4 million people):
– Dunkin Donuts
– Carl’s Jr. (coming soon)
– Denny’s