Moranbah McDonald’s licensees Craig and Jane Meils are ready for the restaurant’s opening tomorrow.
Moranbah McDonald’s licensees Craig and Jane Meils are ready for the restaurant’s opening tomorrow. Contributed

Moranbah Maccas a sign of times

MORANBAH'S first, and only McDonald's restaurant, will open its doors at 4am tomorrow so the CQNews spoke with the licensees Craig and Jane Meils to find out what they think of the town.

Are you a Moranbah local?

The family has relocated from Cairns to Moranbah. Apart from the obvious that there is no ocean and hills in the background, we are finding it is a great community.

How many stores do you own?

This is our first one. We started our McDonalds process in 2009, did our training down in Adelaide for 12 months, and when we were advised where our site was, we made our way back up here. It's great to be back in Queensland.

Why did you decide to own a McDonald's?

It was my first job and my wife's first job. We know the impact it had on us as 15 year olds. To be able to give kids a first job is one of our drivers. McDonald's plays a large integral part of the community and we like to be involved in the community. We enjoy employing youth, the kids, and it is a long-term commitment between McDonald's and ourselves.

How did you go about recruiting staff?

We were overwhelmed by the number of people that wanted to get back into work. All we could do was adapt to the community. We have tapped into the market by listening to people. We have tailored jobs to suit people's needs and the word has spread very quickly.

Will you be 24 hours?

I'll never say never. But at the moment, there is not the need for 24 hours. Like everything in this town, it revolves around the timing of the mines. But we will be able to get staff easily.

How many of your staff are locals?

We have probably hired a little more people through the day than what others would, and that has something to do with the early start in the morning. Every person that is employed at this McDonald's is a resident or has relocated to the town.

Have you had to FIFO/DIDO staff?

Never. That was a ridiculous suggestion and I don't know where it came from or where it started. If you think about the logistics of it, it's not plausible. We have found the response here to be very positive to working. We have heard how the youth don't want to work, but we haven't found that. We have found the youth to be positive, enthusiastic and have great attitudes.

How have you found accommodation prices?

Moranbah right at the moment is changing. In February, we were shocked, like everybody, but right now, the rents are starting to fall.


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