Farm Ireland

Friday 27 April 2018

Le Supermac? Could the French soon be tucking into a snackbox or garlic fries?

Pat McDonagh inside the O'Connell Street branch of Supermac's. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Pat McDonagh inside the O'Connell Street branch of Supermac's. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Pat McDonagh is currently eyeing up a number of opportunities and is about to lodge planning permission with new motorway sites planned. He's also planning to open new Supermac's in the UK and, after that, potentially the continent.

His brand war with McDonald's is continuing with the global giant objecting to his plans to use the Supermac's name in Europe. The case is due to be reviewed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

However, McDonagh says for new businesses starting out, it is all about finding out what the market wants and a niche within that. "You test it out, you get a good lawyer, a good accountant and you put a plan in place.

"You work to that plan and you never ever give up.

"You are going to meet roadblocks, you're going to meet obstacles along the way," says Pat, as he laughingly recalls the first winter behind the counter in Supermac's in Ballinasloe when he ran out of potatoes and unwittingly bought a job-lot more suited to feeding animals than humans.

"It doesn't matter where you start from, it is where you finish that counts."

It's a great time for Irish farming, says Pat McDonagh, who says Irish produce has a great name worldwide, it is looked upon as being green, safe, clean and free from a lot of additives.

"That's what we should be marketing ourselves for."

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He has first-hand knowledge of this from the Claddagh Irish pubs and restaurants chain he owns in the US.

"People are prepared to pay an extra 20-25pc for produce that they know is safe, is properly grown and free from any growth hormones.

"The quality of some of the produce internationally isn't that great."

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