Love it or loathe it – and readers of the BDN Facebook page include both sides in abundance – the fast food restaurant opened its doors on Good Friday.
There was a slight IT hiccup that caused a delay to the expected 6am opening, but franchisee Mike Goodluck said they shouted a free coffee to those customers who had been waiting patiently outside.
By 9am Friday the store had already registered just over 150 orders and both Mr Goodluck and store manager Russell Irish expected business to continue picking up throughout the day with very few other food outlets open on the holiday weekend.
Along Carp St Café Evolve and Gloria Jeans were both open early and KFC was operating as normal for lunch.
On Thursday night, McDonald’s hosted a staff members’ parents and friends night.
“It was a good opportunity to test how it all works,” Mr Irish said.
“We had about 150 people in here - it was standing room only.”
Mr Irish said the store already employs around 90 staff, with ages from 14 through to late-50s.
“Ninety-five per cent of them are from Bega and the surrounding small towns,” he said.
There are also more in line to be interviewed next week.
Several BDN readers were upset McDonald’s was opening on Good Friday.
“We never used to be,” Mr Goodluck said.
“But that has been the way for quite a few years now and it’s getting bigger every year.
“We were a bit quiet this morning, but we didn’t do any advertising because we didn’t know the exact [opening] day.
“We originally were aiming for Thursday, but it was getting too tight.
“The builders did a great job to get us here…[but] we didn’t get the final shire approval until 2pm Thursday.”
McDonald’s Bega will be open from 6am until 11pm, seven days a week.