RICKY WILSON / Stuff
McDonald’s has closed its branch in New Plymouth’s Center City shopping mall.
Burgers are off the menu in New Plymouth’s main shopping mall after McDonald’s closed its Center City outlet.
The branch ceased trading on Sunday, and on Monday staff could be seen removing signs and equipment.
Franchise owner Lauren McAuslin, who also operates the McDonald’s branches in New Plymouth and Bell Block, said: “The lease came up for renewal and we made the decision not to renew it.”
McAuslin said McDonald’s was moving away from food courts nationally in favor of free-standing branches that could open “for 24 hours versus eight”.
* McDonald’s mashups: The best off-menu hacks on social media
* The evolution of one of Christchurch’s most popular restaurants: Ancestral
* Auckland fast food shops get ready for the ‘diehard fans’ expected at level 3
“It was nothing to do with the mall per se.”
The Center City outlet had 14 staff and they were all still with the business, either at Bell Block or New Plymouth, McAuslin said.
Center City owner Primeproperty Group has announced plans to rejuvenate the food court, moving towards a “street-vendor” style with casual seating.
Richard Tait, property manager, said he thought people’s eating habits had changed.
“People are looking for healthier options.”
While the rejuvenation plans were still in the early stages, Primeproperty said it was working with “numerous national food brands” and hoped to provide an update soon.
Work to earthquake-strengthen the building was continuing, along with efforts to bring in new tenants and renew existing tenancy agreements.