'We won't be calling it the Trump Plaza just yet' - Supermac's to create 75 new jobs in Kinnegad with latest branch
Supermac's is set to create 75 jobs with the opening of its latest branch on Friday - but it won't be naming the new plaza after US President Donald Trump, who is due to visit Ireland next week.
The fast food chain is opening three new outlets this year and the latest addition in Co Westmeath will be named the 'Kinnegad Plaza'.
While the arrival of former US president Barack Obama in 2011 gave birth to the 'Barack Obama Plaza' in Moneygall, Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh said he'll keep with the 'Kinnegad Plaza' for the moment.
"Sure maybe if he pops in along the way we'll consider it, but we'll stick with what we have for now," he laughed.
Mr McDonagh said Kinnegad traditionally has been a place where people travelling from west to east always stopped off, so he hopes the new branch will bring some business to the area.
"There's a bit of excitement amongst the people there, they're looking forward to it. It's probably one of the biggest investments that's gone into Kinnegad in a while. It was a stop-off point for people from the west and north west but when the motorway came along it bypassed it somewhat.
"There's a lot of eateries in Kinnegad and hopefully we'll make a few more people stop."
The Supermac's MD said the outlet will create at least 75 new jobs and he hopes to add to that figure in the near future.
The plaza will also consist of four rapid charging points for electric vehicles, to cater for Ireland's growing electric car fleet.
Supermac's recently became the latest franchise to ditch plastic straws and replace them with paper ones.
Mr McDonagh said the move has received a mix reaction among customers but he's sure the quality will improve.
"There is for and against... a lot of people would prefer the plastic straws as they're more robust. The paper ones do melt before you get to the end of drink, but I'm sure they will be perfected as the demand grows for them aswell, they'll come up with some sort of coating for them," he said.
"Another fast-food company has received a petition of 30,000 signatures asking for them to get rid of paper straws but I think people will eventually get used to them."
Two more Supermac's outlets are due to open in Co Wexford and Co Waterford this year.
A further 300 jobs are in the pipeline in Letterkenny, Longford, Ennis and Portlaoise - subject to the granting of planning permission.