Fast-food franchise serves up 30 jobs with new KFC drive-through
One of Northern Ireland's most successful franchise operations has created 30 new jobs and expects to take on another 70 people over the next year.
Herbal Restaurants, which currently employs 1,100 people, operates the KFC brand here and opened a "double-height drive-through" at Ballyhackamore in East Belfast last week where the first tranche of the new jobs will be based.
Local residents had been vocal in their objections to the new store but the Plannings Appeal Committee earlier this year overturned a previous decision by the Department of Environment Planning Service to refuse planning permission.
Michael Herbert, owner of Herbal Restaurants tried to allay residents' fears.
"This is a new generation store and we've tried to blend the building into the local area," he said. "We've used noise abatement and other special equipment which deals with odours and have erected the building in record time with the help of McLaughlin and Harvey."
The 70 new positions are expected to emerge after a £2m investment over the next year in upgrading the company's Newtownards, Bangor, Balloo, Carrickfergus and Newry stores to 'worldwide' KFC specification.
Carrickfergus-based McCue Fit-Out helped furnish the store, and said it has worked with Herbal Restaurants for over 30 years.
"Our partnership began in 1981 with one of Herbel Restaurants' first outlets in Dunmurry and both firms have excelled together since," Les McCracken, Managing Director of McCue Fit-Out said.
"In any industry, 30 years is a long time to sustain a business relationship and this is one worth celebrating."