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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Cumbria burger king seals deal for seventh McDonalds

A Cumbrian fast food magnate has sealed a near £1m deal to add two more restaurants to his growing burger empire.

Chris Nicholls photo
Chris Nicholls

Chris Nicholls, who already owns McDonald’s restaurants in Carlisle, Workington, Whitehaven, Penrith and Kendal, has now bought two more in Barrow.

Mr Nicholls’ HBN Restaurants business secured a £700,000 finance deal from NatWest bank to help fund the deal.

The outlets, on Dalton Road and at Barrow’s Hollywood Bowl, take his portfolio of Cumbrian eateries to seven.

Mr Nicholls, of Moorhouse, Carlisle, is a former senior manager at the US burger giant who left the company to set up his own firm with wife Susan in 2001.

Since acquiring their first McDonald’s, in Carlisle, the pair have gone on to become one of the county’s biggest employers, with staff numbers now topping the 400 mark.

Mr Nicholls said: “We are keen to grow the franchise by acquiring quality restaurants in prime locations.

“Both of these outlets are well established and have a loyal customer base.

“This is our first move into Barrow and we look forward to welcoming both existing and new customers.”

Liz Lunt, NatWest relationship manager, said: “Chris and Susan have more than 10 years experience as franchise operators.

“This is a considerable advantage and has helped them to build a large and successful business.

“We have worked with HBN Restaurants since its launch and are once again delighted to provide funding to help them expand.”

McDonald’s has continued to see profits rise despite the economic crises in Europe and the US.

Profits rose by 11 per cent to almost £900m in the last three months of last year.

The company has announced it will open 1,300 new outlets in the coming year, taking the number worldwide to 33,500.

It also said it was planning to create 2,500 jobs in the UK.

McDonald’s UK chief executive Jill McDonald said a programme of investment and “affordable'” prices had helped boost sales.

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