It’s a race to open for five restaurant chains slated to launch along Hoʻokele Street in Kahului.
Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s, Sonic, Taco Bell and Teddy’s Bigger Burgers have each announced plans to open this year.
According to the latest updates from officials, Taco Bell is set to open at the end of this month or early next month; Teddy’s Burgers and Chick-fil-A are slated to launch this summer; Raising Cane’s is opening mid-July; and Sonic is planning to open by end of the year. Of the five, only Teddy’s has ties to Hawaiʻi, as its first spot was launched on Oʻahu.
While some Maui residents are excited, promising to camp out ahead of openings, others are mixed or even disappointed about the new spots.
Zach Loomer, Kula resident, said he’s mixed. While the new spots will help the economy and provide local jobs, “it’s a little unsettling that it’s a lot of big conglomerates.”
“We would like more local representation,” he said.
Jenna Miller, Kīhei resident, also said she’s mixed.
“The pros are Sonic and Chick-fil-A,” she said. “The cons are Taco Bell and all the traffic and waiting to get to Sonic and Chick-fil-A.”
Kassidy Harris, who lives Upcountry, said she, too, is concerned about the traffic and how busy the parking and driving areas will become. Harris said another Taco Bell isn’t needed.
However, “Raising Cane’s is bomb,” she said.
Kaimana Brummel of Makawao said she’s against the new food spots because they will impact small businesses and residents’ healthy food choices.
“I am concerned about the impact these fast-food companies will have on locally-owned restaurants and on the health of our people,” she said.
Each new restaurant will occupy existing or new buildings on Alexander & Baldwin developments, with the exception of Raising Cane’s, which is constructing its restaurant on CFT NV Developments LLC of Las Vegas land.
Taco Bell, the second one in Kahului, and Sonic are located in A&B’s Hoʻokele Shopping Center; Teddy’s and Chick-fil-A can be found in A&B’s Puʻunēnē Shopping Center.
“We are thrilled to share the news that so many favorite new eateries will be opening across Alexander & Baldwin properties this summer in Maui,” said Carol Reiman, Maui vice president at A&B.
A Raising Cane’s representative said that the company is looking to hire 100 crew members for front of house, back-of-house and management positions for the Maui location. Signs were recently posted on its location.