Pat McDonagh, Managing Director of Ireland’s most successful indigenous quick service family restaurant group, Supermac’s has been named as the All Ireland Marketing Champion of 2020.
The All Ireland Marketing Champion Award has been created by the Marketing Institute of Ireland to highlight the achievements of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to business, who have demonstrated leadership, vision and skill and in particular whose customer and market focus have been central to their success.
With over 106 restaurants throughout the country, Supermac's employs over 4,000 people nationally and has helped to establish up to 60 self-employed franchisees in their own successful businesses.
The latest Supermac’s to open was Supermac’s at The Portlaoise Plaza with the creation of 120 jobs. The next Supermac’s that will open will be Supermac’s Kells later this week as part of the state-of-the-art Park Rí retail centre in the town. Pat was recently awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Industry.
Some of the marketing initiatives undertaken by Supermac’s in recent times include the development of the Fresh Irish Beef and Chicken product offering that champions the brands unique Irishness. The unique ‘always fresh never frozen’ selling point is down to the family restaurants long-standing support of the agriculture industry in Ireland. The Fresh Beef and Chicken ranges do not touch the grill until ordered meaning that it is cooked fresh every time. Last year Supermac’s spent €40million on Irish beef, chicken, bacon and vegetables.
Engaging with customers
The current climate means that the consumer is looking for more online and contactless ways of engaging with service providers. Supermac’s has developed its own in-house online platform to meet those needs and has order online messaging at the core of all its key marketing campaigns. Digital marketing has been a key area of focus over the past few years along with using well known sports personalities and influencers.
Some of the brands most publicised marketing efforts include taking out a large billboard in Times Square in 2016 which was picked up by global media as a small Irish business punching above its weight. Furthermore, Supermac’s ‘No Clowning Around’ humorous dig at a competitor in the height of a legal battle also resulted in widespread attention.
As the brand evolved in response to the changing consumer demands, the group introduced The Plaza Group which has positioned itself as an award-winning forecourt service provider on the country’s national routes. The Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall was the 1st Plaza to open in 2014 and the Supermac’s brand provided a strong and loyal customer base from which other Plazas developed. There are currently 7 Plazas nationwide offering the traveling consumer a range of high-quality products and customer service.
Pat & Una McDonagh have also expanded their hospitality business interests through the purchase and development of the Castletroy Park Hotel and the Castle Oaks House in Limerick, the Loughrea Hotel & Spa, Galway, the Charleville Park Hotel, Cork, The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise and the Athlone Springs Hotel.
Supermac’s is one of the country’s longest serving sponsors of a GAA intercounty team having begun its sponsorship of Galway hurling in 1991. Supermac’s currently sponsors Galway Football as well as Galway hurling, Galway camogie, Galway ladies football and Galway ladies soccer. Supermac’s also supports drama groups, sports clubs, schools, local events and festivals at local level as well. Supermac’s relationship with the communities in which it has stores is another important part of its success story.