McDonald’s crosses over to branded motorway services

The first branded McDonald’s motorway service station is to open in September as the fast-food giant looks for new areas of growth beyond its core high street restaurants.

The development, called simply “McDonald’s Services”, opens on the M5 at Cullompton in Devon. It gives the company the chance to put its name and the McDonald’s golden arches on motorway traffic signs for the service stations.

In most cases McDonald’s restaurants are one of a number of food outlets in service stations which also carry the branding of the owner, such as Granada.

The fast-food giant is looking to open six more branded service areas over the next year.

McDonald’s is also understood to be considering opening Aroma coffee bars at service areas. In March, the company bought the London-based coffee bar chain for about £15m.

McDonald’s roadside development manager Bryan Youlden says: “We are delighted that the Highways Agency has agreed in principle to McDonald’s name on motorway signage and we will be monitoring the effect on the restaurant business as far as possible.”

The service area at Cullompton will include a new 75-seater 3,200 sq ft restaurant alongside the existing BP petrol station and Margram convenience store.

McDonald’s bought Tex Mex chain Chipotle in the US earlier this year.

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