McDonald’s is looking to hire 20,000 people and open 150 new restaurants across the UK and Ireland, it has announced.
The fast food chain wants to employ additional staff and set up 50 new franchises in locations across the country over the next 12 months.
Another 100 stores will follow in the next two years.
The huge expansion by the firm is seen as a shrugging off of fears over the decline in footfall in the high street where it has traditionally had a large footprint.
Making the announcement, Paul Pomroy, its UK chief executive, said: ‘It’s fantastic to be able to offer an additional 20,000 people an opportunity to work with us.
McDonald’s is looking to hire 20,000 people and open 150 new restaurants across the UK and Ireland, it has announced
‘There is no doubt the pandemic has had a huge impact on many people’s employment opportunities and threatened the future of high streets up and down the country.
‘Our 1,400 restaurants are run by 200 local franchisees which means we have a personal stake in every one of our communities.
The firm said the additions are not to replace the jobs lost throughout the pandemic.
Instead Mr Pomroy said that the company is looking at opening more regional locations to help struggling high streets.
He told The Telegraph: ‘People are using their local high streets in a different way, because they’re working from home at the moment, and I think local high streets will continue to be part of the fabric of the UK. It’s up to us to make sure there are reasons for people to visit.’
Making the announcement, Paul Pomroy, its UK chief executive, said: ‘It’s fantastic to be able to offer an additional 20,000 people an opportunity to work with us’
But the chain will be joining a national struggle to recruit amid a staff shortage across retail and hospitality sectors.
Trade body UKHospitality has estimated there is a shortfall of around 188,000 workers across the industry as pubs and restaurants fight to rebuild workforces after a year of lockdowns.
Mr Pomroy added that it was ‘getting harder and harder to recruit’ but that ‘attracting the talent will be critical’.
Despite the number of UK workers on payrolls increasing by almost 200,000 between April and May this year, the overall workforce remains 553,000 smaller.
McDonald’s currently employs over 130,000 crew members in the UK and Ireland
According to recruiter Indeed this led to a 2.2 per cent wage rise in the first quarter of 2021 with job postings 20 per cent higher than levels seen in February 2020.
All branches of McDonald’s shut in the initial March lockdown last year, even though they could technically remain open as takeaways, and reopened partially in May.
McDonald’s currently employs over 130,000 crew members in the UK and Ireland.
The recruitment announcement comes a month after fellow American fast-food chain Wendy’s announced that plans to create 12,000 jobs by returning to Britain after more than two decades.
It will open its first outlet in Reading this June and a further two stores in Stratford and Oxford in the second half of 2021.
A McDonald’s in Edinburgh came under fire after it was revealed it remained open despite six members of staff testing positive for coronavirus and being asked to self-isolate.
The workers from, Kinnaird, Edinburgh, have been asked to self-isolate after an outbreak began at the branch late last week when one member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.
Since then, others have tested positive with one, who wished to remain anonymous, saying staff do not feel they are being properly protected by management, Edinburgh Live reports.
In an email to senior staff management, it says: ‘We are confident that the measures and approach that we are taking with employees is the right one given the specific circumstances.
‘However, we wanted to let you know….and reiterate that you should continue to monitor your wellbeing as this is incredibly important to us. You should continue to follow all social distancing guidelines inside and outside of work.’