The ingredients for building a business empire

Supermac’s co-owner Una McDonagh shares her secret formula to building Ireland’s largest and fastest-growing indigenous fast food restaurant group.
When a young Leaving Certificate student with her heart set on becoming a garda was too young to begin training, she instead started working part-time at a local fast food restaurant in Ballinasloe, County Galway. Now, over 40 years later Una McDonagh is the co-owner of Supermacs, Ireland’s largest and fastest-growing indigenous fast food group, with over 116 restaurants across the country and employing over 4,000 staff, including franchises.
She puts the success of the chain down to hard work, good personal relationships with staff and staying ahead of the curve.
“Our success has come from hard work and from the great people we have working for us,” says Una. “Some of those people are with us for 35 years. Pat (husband and Supermac’s founder) opened his first shop in Ballinasloe in June 1978, I started working there part-time two weeks after my Leaving Cert. Going back 35 years, we had a good few people at a young age working for us, going to college to get their degree and coming back to us. One of our operations managers did engineering in college, he was working with us part-time and stayed on. Now he is one of the key people in the building of the new units. There are many more staff like that, who did accountancy or business and are still with us.
“We are very hands-on; we know a lot of the staff. We would try to visit every shop at least once a month and the franchisees three or four times a year. It’s very important to be able to put faces to names. The fact that we are known to staff makes them more loyal, rather than a faceless company,” she adds.
“ It’s very

This post was originally published here - on thinkbusiness

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