Supermac's is a major Irish fast food franchiser.

History and growth

The first Supermac's opened its doors in 1978 in Main Street, Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland. It was founded by former school teacher Pat McDonagh after he failed to get planning permission for a pool hall in the same town.

Supermac boasts a turnover in excess of €83m and has over 2,500 employees in 80 branches (as of February 2007). Today it serves an average of over 320,000 customers a week. It currently has over 80 outlets nationwide ranging from Gort in County Galway to Fermoy in County Cork and nearly every other major town and city in Ireland.

In February 2007, Supermac's announced that they were to spend over £10m (€14.8m) in opening the chain's first restaurants and drive-thru sites in Northern Ireland, with the creation of around 250 more jobs.


Whilst the stores are all owned by the individual retailers, they almost all hold the same format of a two storey store on the main street of a town, with plastic seating and the serving counter downstairs, and more seating with a children's play area upstairs. Almost all have wall-mounted televisions playing MTV or Sky News. Opening hours are usually long enough to catch customers from mid morning to the post-pub closing rush, often requiring the store to stay open longer than any other in a rural town.

As well as the standard 'Family Restaurant' format, there is also another format called 'Supermac's Fresh Express'. The 'Fresh Express' format is often found in convenience stores or petrol stations. 'Relish Cafe' which is a sandwich bar similar to others such as O'Briens Irish Sandwich Bars or Subway is also in some of the larger restaurants.


Like many fast food franchisers, Supermac's offers a broad range of foods including fries, burgers, chicken, pizza, fish and ice cream. In trying to give a healthier image like the other fast food franchisers recently, Supermac's has added several new products such as the Chicken Tortilla Wrap with a selection of sauces to compliment the wrap. It has also expanded its more traditional fried food range.

Other popular items on the menu include Curry and Cheese chips, the Chicken Burger, and the Pizza Slice. The Pizza Slice was once a very popular choice amongst late night customers, but has fallen out of favour in recent times. It was often believed that the people of Ballinasloe eat nothing else, however this has since been disproved. (They currently also eat a phenonmenal amount of breakfast rolls, supplementing their diet with cheese and onion crisps from time to time.)

Media/press relations

Supermac's invests heavily in sponsorship, currently sponsoring over 400 different events, teams and projects - its most famous sponsorship is that of Galway Gaelic Athletic Association hurling team.


Recently, Pat McDonagh has decided to reinvent and revitalise the image of Supermacs in order to portray a more contemporary image as he tries to shake off the 'culchie' image that the company is associated with. At the same time, he has a great desire to maintain its sense of 'Irishness', as its stands up to the global fast food giants.

McDonagh believes that it is important to change the image to reflect Ireland, as the country becomes more urban and in many people's eyes more sophisticated. This is a massive challenge for the fast food giant to undertake. This new overhaul is an attempt to bring a certain homogeny to stores as an attempt to repeat the dining experience and bring a more homely feel. Staff have been trained on customer service courses in order to bring a more real approach to service, rather than act like robots. This 'WOW' factor is a crucial element of the Supermacs experience in the view of McDonagh. McDonagh has a vision of expanding the company beyond its natural base of the west of Ireland. Rather than having a transient workforce, he desires to keep good staff and reduce staff turnover in the company.


See also

External links

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