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One of Scotland’s most successful restaurant operators is to reveal how taking on McDonald’s in Falkirk helped him build a franchise group with turnover of nearly £27 million, employing 800 people.

Elliot Jardine, who joined McDonald’s management trainee programme in 1986 after undertaking business studies at Edinburgh Napier University, is one of the keynote speakers at today’s WeDo 2019 annual conference in Edinburgh .

 
Also speaking at the event in Dynamic Earth are David Thomson, of Dundee-based magazine and digital media player DC Thomson, Andy Tait, the chief executive office of Greenacres Group, Colin Ingram, the chief executive of Colin Ingram Ltd, and a leading theatre producer, and Charlie Smith, of Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International. WeDo aims to guide and inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Jardine’s position prior to becoming a franchisee was to bring the McCafe sub-brand to McDonald’s UK. In 2004, he was offered his first franchise for two restaurants in Falkirk and has subsequently expanded throughout the central belt of Scotland including Stirling, Alloa, Grangemouth and Edinburgh.

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In 2018, net sales for his group of stores was £26.75 million, employing over 800 staff contributing £6.5 million in salaries in the local communities. In the past year, his restaurants achieved an 8.8% increase in sales with gross profit of £18.1 million.

Jardine said: “Being a McDonald’s franchisee does not entitle you to success. Becoming a franchisee gives you the opportunity to work within a brilliant system in order to be creative with local marketing and especially the development of people resulting in a thriving & responsible business. It’s often said that we’re a people business not a hamburger business. Being successful is about building a team that ultimately drives sales through consistent high standards of quality, service and cleanliness.”

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Jardine’s ethos is going above and beyond to give back to and champion local communities in and around the locations of his restaurants. With the help of his employees, Elliot has also raised significant funds for local foodbanks and other charities.

“Being a global brand, it’s also very important to act responsibly in the local area and contribute back into the community that you operate within,” he said. “I think it’s imperative to continuously develop & build a trust bank with your customers and be engaged in supporting the many good causes close to them.”

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Through the McDonald’s philosophy of Scale For Good, the restaurants within Scotland have raised over £3.5 million through the Bag Tax which has built the 25 bedroom Ronald McDonald House at the new Royal Hospital for Children & Young People at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home from home for parents of sick children.

“Success is having both a restless and relentless approach to your business. The creation and ongoing development of a successful team is one of the biggest challenges that face most businesses and one that I spent the majority of my time on,” he will tell delegates.

By Kenny Kemp

Source: Insider

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