Supermac's seeking new sites
Pat McDonagh's Supermac's fast food chain is seeking a number of sites for drive-thru restaurants, filling stations and motorway service stations in Dublin, the East Coast and other parts of the country.
Mr McDonagh is also interested in acquiring another hotel to follow his purchase of the upmarket Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick.
The firm has been developing its own properties as well as teaming up with petrol station chains and its own franchisees, and is also willing to lease places such as car showrooms.
"Our preference is for easily accessible sites with a high profile for both a passing trade as well as a local catchment. Those on the edge of town and in places such as Dublin and Wexford are among our main targets, as well as those in the south."
Mr McDonagh is hoping to begin work this September on his first motorway service station at Moneygall on the M7, about halfway between Dublin and Limerick, and open it next summer. The firm purchased a 12 acre Moneygall site in 2009 and is investing more than €5m to develop the full range of motorway services on six of those acres. "We will hold onto the rest and may develop if we should need to expand," he says.
This follows on a €3m investment in the development of a Clonmel site, on a bypass on the Waterford to Limerick road.
"While development land prices have fallen, those in good locations have not fallen as much.
"Construction costs have also held up, relatively speaking, partly because of emigration of builders," he says.
The firm has also spent €2m on revamping a number of its outlets around the country which also accommodate its Papa John's Pizza outlets as well as its Quiznos Sub outlets.
"We are willing to revamp car showrooms of about 4,000 sq ft, provided they are on sites of about half an acre and there is scope for cars to circulate around them."
A further €1.5m was spent on improvements at the Castletroy hotel. While not actively seeking hotels, Mr McDonagh says: "If the right one came along we would have a look at it."
Part of the funding is coming from Supermac's own resources and the remainder is from bank loans.