Taco Bell has Arrived in the South Island!

Just in time for Taco Tuesday, U.S fast-food joint Taco Bell has landed in the South Island.

Nearly 100 eager customers donned taco shell hats and T-shirts outside the Taco Bell Eastgate store in Linwood, Christchurch – the South Island’s first – as they waited for the big purple bell to be rung and ribbon to be cut. The long line of customers made up of Taco Bell lovers and first-timers both young and old cheered and clapped as the doors opened for the first time.

Friends and family of staff were invited in over the weekend, giving staff a chance to test run a shift. Twenty-two staff were rostered on for the store’s opening on Monday, and there were 40 staff in total. The line continued to grow as customers began entering the store and staff expected to be busy throughout the week. The store’s drive-thru and delivery service would become available in the coming weeks.

Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell store in Downey, California, in 1962. In celebration, 62 taco-shaped hats were handed out for free at the Christchurch store.

The country’s first Taco Bell opened at The Brickworks at Lynn Mall in 2019. The company planned to expand across New Zealand, with several more stores due to open in 2021.

Taco Bell is owned in New Zealand by Restaurant Brands, which also has the New Zealand rights to the KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr and Starbucks brands.