FAST-food giant McDonald’s contributes £170 million a year to the Scottish economy through its business and suppliers, according to a new report.
The independent economic report Serving the UK: McDonald’s at 40 assessed the overall contribution the chain has made to the UK economy, local communities, its employees, customers and suppliers since it first started operating in the UK in 1974.
It found that in Scotland, McDonald’s supports around 9,100 jobs directly and indirectly, including at major suppliers such as Smith Anderson in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Arla Foods in Dumfries and Galloway, and Pacific Building - a construction firm in Glasgow.
The report found Scotland-based businesses sold almost £90 million of goods and services into the McDonald’s supply chain in 2013.
Around £10 million of agricultural produce is supplied from Scotland, including seed potatoes, milk and beef.
Jill McDonald, of McDonald’s UK, said: “To mark our 40 years in the UK we wanted to take a close look at our economic and community impact, from the jobs we have created to the world leading supply chain we have built.
“I’m incredibly proud of the investments we have been able to make and how our franchisees and employees are at the heart of hundreds of communities across the UK.
“By taking a responsible and long-term approach we have been able to support jobs for local people and create opportunities for UK-based businesses.
“Our continued growth will enable us to further expand our workforce with 8,000 new jobs created over the next three years, and in many cases give thousands of young people a valuable opportunity to start building their careers.
“The foundations we have laid will help us make the right decisions for the future, whether it’s continuing to invest in the customer experience, leading the way on support for British farming, or employing and training even more people.”
McDonald’s opened its first Scottish restaurant in Dundee in 1987 and now has 94 outlets in Scotland, employing 6,900 people with a further 2,200 jobs supported through the supply chain.
The company said that its continued growth in Scotland has also enabled local suppliers to grow, innovate and diversify.
Among them is Smith Anderson, an independent family-owned business based in Kirkcaldy which supplies paper bags for all 1,200 UK restaurants and is the longest serving supplier to the British business, employing more than 200 people with a turnover in excess of £20 million.
McDonald’s franchisee Andrew Watson began his McDonald’s career in 2009 when he became franchisee of the flagship restaurant on Princes Street, Edinburgh.
He now owns two restaurants in the city.
He said: “I am very passionate about giving young people in particular the chance to get workplace experience, and to support that we have a fantastic education programme in place. We employ people based on their qualities not their qualifications but, as the worlds of business and education move closer, there’s no longer a need to decide between learning and earning.
“As such, I’m thrilled to be able to offer all my employees the chance to gain valuable on-the-job qualifications from an apprenticeship to a foundation degree in managing business operations for restaurant managers.”
The report was researched by Development Economics.