By Eoin English
Irish fast-food supremo Pat McDonagh is poised to create 200 jobs in Cork by opening three outlets in the city.
The Supermacs boss said a new franchise outlet will open at Ballyvolane within three weeks, with a Supermacs, a Papa John’s Pizza, and a drive-thru.
Another franchise outlet will open at the Amber filling station on the N71 Bandon Road, near the Bandon Road roundabout, in about six weeks, while the Supermacs group will operate the new Tivoli outlet, which is due to open within three months. Recruitment is ongoing for these two outlets.
They are part of a nationwide six-outlet expansion of the Supermacs group which will, by June, bring to 13 the number of outlets in Cork city and county, and to 114 the number of outlets nationwide.
“We have had an outlet on the North Main St for several years and had been looking at opportunities in the city for some time but the business has changed over the 10 years or so,” said Mr McDonagh.
“There has been a fall-off in pubs and nightclubs, so we looked at the city outskirts for ease of access and drive-thrus. We are also examining potential opportunities in the West Cork region over the next year or two.
“We have career opportunities at all levels and we are looking for managers, store managers, assistant managers and catering assistants. We have a structured career path in place for staff which leads to store manager positions as well as site and area managers. We want people that will stay with us and develop with us.
“To date, over 150 new promoted managers were awarded QQI Level 5 certificates in Management which they achieved through work-based training in their own outlets.”
He said employers face new challenges in recruiting staff, most of whom were born in the late 1990s, but he insisted the salary is competitive, starting at the minimum wage and rising incrementally. And he said between 60% and 70% of their franchisees come from within the group.
Mr McDonagh, a former teacher who was nicknamed Supermac on the GAA field, opened his first fast-food outlet in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, almost 40 years ago.
Today, his empire, which is worth a reported €110m, employs more than 2,700 people nationwide.
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.