CONTRACTORS are feverishly working to finish Bega McDonald’s in preparation for an Easter weekend opening.
Bega McDonald’s licensee Mike Goodluck paid a visit to the work site on Wednesday with the store’s manager Russell Irish to check on progress.
“Electricity to the building is being turned on today, so that will assist the kitchen fit out,” Mr Goodluck said.
“I’m confident that if we don’t open Easter weekend it will be in the days following, but Easter is looking good.
“The pylon sign, ‘the big M’, will go up next week.”
The Bega store is one of four owned by Mr Goodluck and his wife Bernadette.
Originally from Victoria, both started their career with McDonald’s as teenagers and pursued full-time careers with the chain after university.
“McDonald’s has provided us both with a long-term, rewarding career,” he said.
“We worked our way up through the ranks and opened a restaurant while raising three kids, which was tough, but it has afforded our family some fantastic opportunities,” Mr Goodluck said.
As a McDonald’s consultant, Mr Goodluck has overseen the opening of over 30 restaurants in Victoria and Tasmania.
Seventeen years ago he and his wife opened their first McDonald’s restaurant together at Lakes Entrance in Victoria and later bought another in Bairnsdale.
Last year the couple made their first foray into NSW after taking over the Merimbula store, and with it the upcoming Bega store.
“The idea of coming to the area was daunting on one hand, but it was an incredible opportunity to be able to open a store in Bega,” he said.
“Bega is a gateway to the area and such a fantastic community, and we are very pleased to become part of it.”
The new McDonald’s will feature a McCafe, children’s playland and both indoor and outdoor seating.
Mr Goodluck said the exterior is different to his existing stores with high noise-absorbent walls adjoining the neighbour’s property and a partially enclosed drive-through in order to accommodate residential noise concerns.
The new restaurant represents an investment of approximately $5million.
Mr Irish, 29, will be managing the Bega store in addition to the Merimbula store.
He started working part-time in Mr Goodluck’s Bairnsdale store when he was 15 and later completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters in Accounting.
Eighty-five full and part-time staff made up of Bega Valley residents have been hired for the store, ranging in age from 15 to late 50s.
“It was incredible, we didn’t advertise, just through word of mouth we received applicants for roles in the Bega store,” Mr Goodluck said.
“Russell and I feel there is a really good team assembled and they are all raring to go for opening.”
As part of their commitment to supporting the local Bega community, the Goodlucks’ community work will also see them work closely with many local schools and sporting clubs in the area.
“We are committed to get behind the community we are a part of, and I would love to chat with Bega residents about any great initiatives we can be involved in,” Mr Goodluck said.