We asked a fella who camped overnight to be Popeyes NZ's first customer: Was it worth the wait?

We asked a fella who camped overnight to be Popeyes NZ's first customer: Was it worth the wait?

We also tried it, and we have THOUGHTS.

Fronting a 100-person queue stretching from 106 Great South Road in Takanini this morning was a man named Jack. He’d been there since 3 PM the day before, hoping to be the first to walk into a Popeyes Chicken restaurant here in little old Aotearoa.

In celebration of the grand opening at 10am, a brass band played New Orleans Jazz, an orange ribbon was cut and Jack walked in. Finally, 19 hours after arriving in the car park, he bit into a Deluxe Chicken Sandwich.

“That’s bloody mean,” he said. 

Their Louisiana-style chicken sandwich went mega-viral in 2019 and is the menu item everyone in line told Mai FM they were most excited to try. It’s a simple burger: Brioche buns, mayo, a big piece of fried chicken and pickles. 

It’s richer than other fast-food chicken burgers, with the four ingredients meshing well without overpowering one another. It’s a good size, too, so expect to feel full for the next few hours after eating it.

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

Wings are also available, either by themselves or as part of a meal. Sides include cajun fries, mac and cheese, mash and gravy, cajun gravy, and a biscuit (more like a scone than the biscuits we're used to here). They have frozen and standard fizzy drinks, as well as Biscoff, chocolate, and Oreo shakes and sundaes.

People of all ages lined the street waiting for Popeyes' NZ debut, and they let out some rowdy cheers the closer it got to opening time.

“We’re really excited,” Popeyes NZ general manager James McLauchlan said. “It’s unbelievable, the hype that’s here.”

The Takanini spot will be open from 11 AM to 10 PM every day of the week. They plan on opening up restaurants all across the motu with a Taupō spot pencilled in for July.