New Zealand’s Most Infamous and Successful Pizza Chain Opens Doors in Australia


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One of New Zealand’s most successful and progressive quick-service restaurants – Hell Pizza – is opening the doors to its new Australian store in Brisbane this week as it sets its sights on shaking up the nation’s takeaway pizza industry.

Hell is looking to take its own bite of Australia’s quick-service restaurant (QSR) sector, worth an estimated $21B, with its commitment to using premium, locally sourced ingredients that comply with high animal welfare standards.

Its Australian move follows 23 years of success in New Zealand, where it has 77 stores, a significant share of the Kiwi QSR market and is well-known for its cheeky and daring campaigns, including 2019’s infamous Burger Pizza, which aimed to introduce Kiwis to emerging plant-based alternatives.

Ben Cumming, Hell CEO, says opening in Brisbane first was a deliberate choice.

“Brisbane is a forward-thinking city, which has changed substantially over the last ten years. It’s got great infrastructure for us to establish Hell in Australia, but it’s also forecast to keep growing in size and culture. It’s a great fit for us and our plans for expansion across the country,” he says.

Hell is initially aiming to open up another four stores in the state over the next 12 months and says it differs considerably from other consumer offerings due to its focus on using local, high-quality ingredients with high animal welfare standards.

“Doing this already establishes us as a market leader. Hell appeals to people who care about what they eat and choose brands that reflect their values, like offering SPCA approved chicken, free range eggs, and stall-free pork. We’re not a mainstream offering, and we don’t make any apologies about that, which is why the time is right for us to enter Australia. People are looking for sustainable food choices that don’t compromise on size or service and are most importantly, delicious,” he says.

The company is no stranger to Australian shores, having been here before, but says this time is different. Steve Willis, who is heading up the Australian operations, says they’ve taken a very deliberate approach in setting Hell up for success in 2023.

“Australians loved Hell, and what it delivered the first time we were here, so we know that the pizzas we make hit the mark. Expanding into a new market during a pandemic, with supply chain issues, inflation and limited labour, has been challenging, but it’s meant we’ve had to work hard to get the brand set up – and at every point, it’s allowed us to make sure we’ve got things right.”

Ben Cumming says while 2022 might have been the worst year to set up a business in a new country, it’s true to what the company is and what it stands for.

“While it’s taken us longer than planned to open the doors, that’s what we love about Hell. We take risks and push boundaries when others would take the safe option. This is what Brisbane has to look forward to – pizza that tests the limits and has fun at the same time,” he says.

Hell’s Brisbane Store is now open at 400 Newmarket Road, Newmarket. You can find out more about Hell Australia here.

About HELL

Established in Wellington in 1996, Hell pizza has grown to become one of New Zealand’s most infamous and well-known brands, with 77 franchises throughout New Zealand and more than 1,200 staff.  Behind the irreverent brand, Hell focuses on quality products at good value, offering consumers an ethical option in convenience foods and specialising in catering carefully for all dietary requirements. Hell supports a range of causes – including the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and IHC’s Project Active and is an active member of the local communities in which it operates.