McDonald’s now has a restaurant in every county in England after the final gap – Rutland – was filled.
The new restaurant, at the junction of Hackamore Way and Lands End Way in Oakham, threw open its doors at 11am this morning – exactly a day ahead of new lockdown restrictions coming into force in England.
Oakham’s Mayor, Councillor David Romney, cut the ribbon to opened the restaurant, which has created 65 jobs.
Coronavirus restrictions already in place in the county mean reduced dine-in capacity inside, with outdoor available on the patio.
But the arrival of Big Macs wasn’t without controversy in Rutland, with some residents asking for planning permission to be refused.
The council had 23 letters supporting the plan from residents who said it would add to the dining choices available in England’s smallest county, which is landlocked by Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.
There were 55 objections, largely about the potential for increased litter – including one from a 10-year-old boy.
The youngster said McDonald’s food was not healthy and added: “The town will be destroyed.”
The restaurant is owned and operated by McDonald’s franchisee Glyn Pashley.
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.”
The new restaurant will boast all the latest innovations from McDonald’s – including self-service kiosks and ordering from the MyMcDonald’s App.
Table service and digital drive-thru menu boards will also be in operation.
Customers can choose to take their meal at the counter, or have it delivered to a table – at least until England’s second lockdown begins tomorrow.