Since it first arrived in New Zealand 25 years ago, burger behemoth McDonald's has put the Big Mac firmly on the national menu. Every week, the 147 restaurants around the country sell 1.5m of them to hungry consumers. For future growth however, managing director Alan Dunn has revealed that the focus will be on bolstering the fledgling chain of McCafes.

Dunn revealed that the 7-strong McCafe chain, which started in 1998, would grow to 20 by the end of this year, the intensified growth leading to a 30-35 strong chain by the end of 2002. The concept is nicely complementary to the core McDonald's business, he added.

"The way things are going at the moment, franchisees are queuing up saying, 'I'd love to put one into my restaurant location'" Dunn told the New Zealand Herald, adding that McCafes were finding a large market outside the niche of existing coffee house fans, young mothers for insistence, who are often "intimidated by the coffee scene."

McDonald's is also trailing an internet cafe in Dunedin, in a bid to make the most out of the fact that New Zealanders are the world's third largest consumers of meals eaten outside the home.