Business Irish

Wednesday 16 August 2017

'McDonald's have abandoned the green jersey and the Irish flag' - Supermacs CEO slams fast food rival in latest burger battle

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Supermacs CEO and founder Pat McDonagh has questioned the loyalty of McDonalds to Ireland following the restructure of its corporate structure here.

Senior staff at McDonald Ireland's head office in Clonskeagh, Dublin, were notified of the risk of redundancy of their roles in March of this year, independent.ie has previously reported.

Operations at the fast food giant's Dublin office are being scaled back as part of a "planned restructuring" and a number of employees have been informed that their existing positions are "being removed from the structure".

However, while the business is set to be run from the UK, McDonald's continues to maintain that they are committed to the 5,000 people who work in their restaurants across Ireland.

"McDonalds are well known to wear the green jersey when it suits," Mr McDonagh told independent.ie. 

"They've abandoned some of their employees, they've abandoned the Irish jersey, they've abandoned the Irish flag and they've gone to wherever it suits them to fly another flag." 

On Friday June 9, McDonald's staff received an email sent by UK CEO Paul Pomroy, indicating McDonald's Ireland MD Adrian Crean will be stepping down from the role on July 31 after a period of 'gardening leave' and his position will not be replaced.

"It's probably good for the likes of Supermacs as we'll retain our head office here in Ireland and we'll retain our employees here in Ireland," he said.

"McDonalds can't be looking for the best of both worlds. They've objected to our trademark yet they've abandoned Ireland."

In April this year, Supermacs submitted a request to the European Union Property Office (EUIPO) to cancel the use of the Big Mac and Mc trademarks that McDonald’s has registered in certain classes; the first substantial move in the ongoing trademark war following McDonald’s objections to the Irish firm's plans to use the Supermac’s name in Europe.

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh
Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh

Mr McDonagh speculated as to whether the restructure could be a sign that other operations will follow suit - or whether new legislation in Ireland, where an Irish resident company of certain multinational groups must provide annually a country-by-country report (CbC) to the Revenue Commissioners. 

"With Brexit, most companies are moving out of the UK but it would appear that there is some sort of deal struck with the UK government to set up their EU office there," he said.

McDonald’s has operated in Ireland since 1977; In 2015, pre-tax profits for the Irish business increased to €14m, following revenues at the business increasing by 5pc to €85m.

A statement from the firm reiterates their commitment "to our customers, franchisees and the 5,000 people who work in our 92 restaurants".

"We continue to grow as a business in Ireland and customers are currently enjoying the results of our ongoing programme of investment and refurbishment across our restaurants," a spokesperson for the firm said.

"We are a longstanding supporter of Irish agriculture and remain committed to our suppliers and partners." 

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