A McDonald’s restaurant has opened its doors for the first time in Rutland – England’s last county to gain a branch of the fast food chain.
The Mayor of Oakham, Councillor David Romney, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to officially welcome customers to the branch, which has created 65 jobs.
Plans for the drive-thru north of Oakham town centre were approved by Rutland County Council in January in the face of more than 50 objections, including claims the “unsightly” development would increase litter, impact other traders and undermine “the Rutland brand”.
Others opposed to the drive-thru voiced fears it would increase anti-social behaviour and devalue local houses despite odour control measures and patrols to collect litter in the local area.
McDonald’s franchisee Glyn Pashley, who also runs 17 other branches across the Midlands, said several measures were in place to help protect employees and customers, including social distancing in the kitchens and service areas.
Perspex screens at drive-thru windows, as well as screens and floor markings in specific areas in the restaurant and kitchen, have also been put in place, alongside contactless thermometers to take employee temperatures on arrival at work for each shift.
Mr Pashley said: “We are delighted to be opening in Oakham, making this restaurant the first in Rutland, and we’re so looking forward to seeing our new and existing local customers at the restaurant.
“We’d like to thank our customers in advance for their support and patience as we navigate and adapt to these different ways of working.”