‘Phenomenal’ success of new McDonald’s leads to creation of 35 more jobs

Rosemary McCleary and Ellen Kirkpatrick with franchisee John McCollum at the 'friends and family' event held at McDonald's at The Outlet on Tuesday, October 18. Photo by Simon Graham, Harrison Photography

Rosemary McCleary and Ellen Kirkpatrick with franchisee John McCollum at the 'friends and family' event held at McDonald's at The Outlet on Tuesday, October 18. Photo by Simon Graham, Harrison Photography

McDonald’s franchisee John McCollum says he’s “totally gobsmacked” by the success of his new restaurant in Banbridge.

The Co Antrim businessman, who opened his latest venture at The Outlet on Wednesday, October 19, revealed that the first couple of days trading have been so successful that he’s having to take on around 35 additional members of staff.

Open for business: The new McDonald's restaurant at The Outlet, Banbridge. Photo by Simon Graham, Harrison Photography

Open for business: The new McDonald's restaurant at The Outlet, Banbridge. Photo by Simon Graham, Harrison Photography

The opening of the new 24-hour eatery at the A1 retail park had already brought more than 100 full and part-time jobs to the area.

Mr McCollum, who welcomed staff members and their family and friends to a special pre-opening event on Tuesday evening, said he was “totally gobsmacked” by the response when the restaurant opened to the public on Wednesday morning.

“We did double what we thought we’d do,” he said. “We do projections, but we had to throw them in the bin, redo them and get more stock in. It’s been phenomenal. I am totally gobsmacked and genuinely bowled over.

“I am totally amazed. We have fantastic customers; it’s a real community restaurant. It’s going to be fantastic. Even McDonald’s who see plenty of success stories can’t believe it.

“We are going to employ another 30 to 35 people because we’re not going to be able to sustain this with the people we’ve got. I know it’s early days, but it’s going to be very good,” he added.

Mr McCollum, who also owns the McDonald’s franchises at Sprucefield and Newry, has spent millions of pounds on the new ‘Experience of the Future’ restaurant, which boasts a stylish wood and stone interior, state-of-the-art kitchen, dual lane drive thru, touch screen kiosks for placing orders and table service.

An official opening is scheduled to take place at the restaurant on Saturday, October 29 at 11.30am when the special guest is expected to be an Irish international sports star.