Revealed: How fast-food franchises are preparing for the reopening

Set your alarms folks - it's just hours now until you can get your hands on a burger or some fried chicken.

But prepare yourselves for a bit of a wait once you get there, with fast-food outlets bracing for an onslaught of hungry customers.

Murray Traill's family opened one of the first McDonald's restaurants in the South Island in November 1987.

But after 32 years in the fast-food business, Tuesday's likely to be his most important day of trading.

"I feel like Sir Edmund Hillary at Base Camp ready to attack the mountain," he told Newshub.

Under lockdown alert level 4 rules all McDonald's restaurants have been closed. From midnight they've got the green light to switch the golden arches back on.

But reopening a fast-food franchise isn't as simple as just firing up the deep fryer.

"Whether it's social distancing or contactless service, sanitation and cleanliness is a huge part of it. Making sure that our crew is up-to-date with new procedures so there's a lot of training and communication going on that's really important," Traill says.

Staff will stick to bubbles and tape on the floor marks their designated areas.

There'll be no dining-in - the only people allowed inside the restaurant are staff and delivery drivers. All other orders must be made through the drive-thru, and this is how it will work - you place your order at the box and drive on around to the payment window. 

You then drive onto the next window and pick up your order.

But be prepared for a wait if one video from Austria is anything to go by. That video shows a 2km-long queue for the drive-thru after lockdown restrictions eased there.

Trent Beckett will be on the frontline serving customers tomorrow - he's got some ideas on what might be the most popular item on the menu.

"That's a big call, I think the Big Mac's always going to be a favourite," he says.

A Big Mac, a cheeseburger, or a Happy Meal - the real winner tomorrow is going to be a trip out of the house with someone else doing the cooking.