After a tumultuous few years which has rocked the restaurant landscape, home-grown franchise Lone Star is bucking the trend with its first hotel restaurant within the Mercure Auckland Queen Street.
Acutely aware of the dire state the Covid-19 pandemic has left Auckland’s CBD in and the desperate need to attract people back to the central city, Lone Star National Operations Manager, Paul Steiner says the company sees huge potential in the new Queen Street franchise and intends to lead the city’s restaurant resurgence.
“The borders are opening and we want to be at the forefront of welcoming tourists and Kiwis alike back into the CBD – who better to start the charge?” says Paul.
Lone Star hasn’t been spared the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality sector. Lone Star restaurants across the country have faced lockdowns and now significant staff absences due to Omicron.
However Steiner, with a 30 year foodservice career behind him, including 3 years and 8 months owning Lone Star Dunedin, credits ‘world famous in NZ’ menu items like Dixie Chicken and Redneck Ribs and the brand’s loyal customer base who have spent the last two years supporting venues up and down the country, as demonstrating hunger for the new non-traditional site.
“The last couple of years have been tough but with over three decades of experience behind us we’re confident that Kiwis always have the appetite for a quality meal and an unpretentious night out.”
“You don’t stay in business for decades without innovating and the Queen Street restaurant is an exciting expansion for the business – bringing classic Lone Star dishes to more Kiwis and introducing them to tourists from abroad at the same time,” says Paul.
The guiding phrase, “Love, Care and Generosity” has been the heartbeat of the Lone Star business since the first restaurant opened its doors in 1988. Born as the antidote to the 80’s fad of pompous, nouvelle cuisine, Lone Star’s message that dining out should be fun and value for money was just what the doctor ordered for hungry Kiwis.
The new 50 seat boutique restaurant and bar is situated inside the hotel building with ground floor access to welcome members of the public and hotel guests. Room service for those staying at Mercure Queen Street will be available as well as click and collect and delivery via both Uber Eats and Delivereasy.
Amanda Evans, Manager of the Mercure Auckland Queen Street says partnering with Lone Star was an easy decision.
“Lone Star is an iconic homegrown brand and we’re thrilled to be able to share a real taste of New Zealand with our international visitors and travelling Kiwis alike,” says Amanda.