Incredible McDonald's NZ stats reveal full scope of first-day COVID-19 level 3

woman eating Big Mac
Over 125,000 customer transactions occured over the course of the first 24 hours. Photo credit: Getty.

New statistics released by McDonald's NZ have revealed the most popular menu items for hungry customers returning in what was to be one of the fast-food giant's busiest days in 44 years. 

Day one of the move to COVID-19 alert level 3, aka 'Takeaway Tuesday', saw 137 of the country's 170 restaurants open at 5am. 

Queues began forming in drive-thrus from 2am and at times totalled over 50 cars, with over 125,0000 customer transactions made in the first 24 hours of service. 

The most popular menu items included fries, McNuggets, cheeseburgers and Quarter Pounders. Many Kiwis took up the opportunity to have a barista-made coffee for the first time in weeks, but it was the Big Mac that was the burger of the hour.

"Our first day of operation post lockdown was double the size of a normal Tuesday and from breakfast to dinner we sold around 145,000 Big Mac burgers," says McDonald's NZ managing director Dave Howse.

"Our franchisees and staff were excited to reopen the doors, and customers were certainly ready and waiting."

Other stats from the first day of Macca's being open in five weeks include: 

  • Over 300,000 burgers sold
  • 30,000 cups of barista-made coffee sold
  • 19,000 burgers ordered with no pickles
  • 10,000 Macca's crew returning to work

It wasn't just Macca's that faced a gigantic first day back - other takeaway outlets including KFC and Wendy's also had record-breaking drive-thru queues. 

However, vendors from the local hospitality scene are pleading with Kiwis to start buying from local cafes and restaurants, now they've had their fast-food fix.