We're lovin' it: McDonald's contributes £76m to Northern Ireland economy
McDonald's and its suppliers contribute £76m to the economy in Northern Ireland every year, according to a report commissioned by the fast-food giant as it marks its 40th anniversary in the UK.
In 2013 McDonald's in the UK spent almost £99m sourcing goods and services from Northern Ireland, £14m of which was spent on agricultural produce, the report said.
Development Economics' research estimated that the business and its supply chain is worth £2.5bn annually to the UK economy.
The news comes as the fast food giant prepares to open a new drive-through in Belfast's Boucher Road this summer.
McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Belfast in 1991 and now has 26 branches employing more than 2,100 people across Northern Ireland.
It also supports a further 1,500 jobs by purchasing goods and services from businesses here, according to the 'Serving the UK: McDonald's at 40 Report'.
Joanne Jones, head of national operations at McDonald's said she was "incredibly proud of the progress of the business in Northern Ireland".
"We are committed to growing our business and over the next three years are seeking to expand our workforce by creating 8,000 new jobs across the UK," she added.
"Each day we serve thousands of customers across Northern Ireland. With all of our restaurants here run by franchisees we have helped not only to stimulate regional investment, but become one of the largest private sector employers of young people," she said.
"We are continuing to invest in the local economy and a new dual drive through restaurant is scheduled to open on the Boucher Road in the summer."
Ms Jones said the investment would create significant direct and indirect employment including a boost to the manufacturing, construction and service sectors.
Among the outlets' supply chain throughout Ireland are Kerry Food's cheese-making facility in Coleraine, beef suppliers, WD Meats, the Foyle Food Group, Linden Foods and Delta Print and Packaging factory. Delta has supplied McDonald's with carton-board packaging since 1998.