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McDonald’s Contributes £99m to the Northern Ireland Economy and Brings 4,700 Jobs to the Area

by McDonald’s


An independent economic report commissioned by McDonald’s to mark 45 years of operating in the UK, reveals the business and its suppliers have made a combined contribution of £99million annually to Northern Ireland.



Despite numerous high–street businesses in decline across the UK, McDonald’s continues to invest in and grow both its High Street and Drive–Thru operations, many of which are located in town centre locations. Without including its supply chain, McDonald’s has directly invested more than £45m in Northern Ireland since 2017, employing 3,100 people.**

Serving the UK: McDonald’s at 45’, was researched by Development Economics to understand the value McDonald’s has made to the UK economy, local communities, its employees, customers and suppliers since it first started operating in the UK. The new report builds on the economic data McDonald’s published five years ago to mark its 40th anniversary in the UK.

The report looks at McDonald’s significant contribution to UK’s cities, through jobs created in restaurants and the wider economic impact through its supply chain. The study details the many changes the business has undergone to meet customer needs and the key challenges it faces as it heads towards its 50th year in 2024.

Paul Pomroy Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK, said: “We are at our very best when the brand, our franchisees and our suppliers work together to deliver for our customers. With our unparalleled reach across the UK, we have a unique opportunity to create change and to make a real and lasting impact in the local areas that we serve. Our people are at the heart of these communities and, as a responsible and proud employer, we are committed to investing in them. The 125,000 colleagues working in our restaurants and offices are central to our past, present and future success and innovation.  

Today’s restaurants would be unrecognisable from 45 years ago. In the last five years, we have introduced table service, the My McDonald’s app and McDelivery. We have not stood still, and we will continue to change for the better, guided by our customers, our people and our communities.”

The report finds that overall the business and its supply chain is estimated to be worth £3.36 billion annually to the UK economy*** – and that over the past 45 years, the total economic contribution is £54.4 billion, spending £35.6 billion with UK businesses and creating 2.1 million jobs.

In Northern Ireland as a whole McDonald’s has contributed £99m and supported 4,732 jobs – with local farmers receiving £23m. By including suppliers and induced GVA, the total GVA contribution in Northern Ireland is £99m.


* This figure is based on direct, indirect and induced contribution to the Local Authority District in which restaurants are located. It is measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) which takes the value of goods and services produced by a specific business sector or in a sub–national geographic area and is calculated as the difference between output and intermediate consumption (i.e. costs excluding wages).

GVA impacts have been calculated based on assumptions for supply chain linkages based on a national, UK–wide input output model developed by the Office for National Statistics, using a 2017 price base.

Direct GVA is the net income and salaries earned by McDonald’s, franchisees and employees

Indirect GVA is the net income and salaries earned by suppliers and their employees

Induced GVA is the net income and salaries earned by businesses as a result of purchases made by McDonald’s employees and supplier employees

** This figure is based on the Direct GVA and the number of restaurants and employees within the Local Authority District up until December 2017.

*** This figure is the sum of the estimated annual GVA impact across the UK for each of the 45 years annually. It takes the 2017 calculations of the multiplier impacts and applies this ratio to the gross and net income for the years in which we have turnover data for McDonald’s (1994,2003–2012) and adjusts the values to 2017 prices.

About Development Economics

Development Economics Ltd provides robust economics and demographics research, market analysis and strategy advice for private and public sector clients. Led by professionals with over 20 years’ experience of developing strategies for businesses and public sector clients, the company possesses expertise in undertaking economic impact assessments, feasibility studies, workforce development and regeneration strategies.

About ‘Serving the UK: Forward to 50’ The Contribution of McDonald’s in 2019

‘Serving the UK: Forward to 50’ The Contribution of McDonald’s in 2019’ was published in July 2019. The report highlights and quantifies the economic contribution made by McDonald’s to the UK economy since it became established in the UK in 1974. All estimates of overall economic value have been independently produced and are the responsibility of Development Economics.

The focus of the report is on the impact of the directly operated and franchised restaurants operating in the UK, together with the headquarters and distribution networks and the UK–based supply chain including farming and food manufacturing.