The 2,750 sq ft new-build drive-thru in Barry has 70 covers and has created around 40 new jobs in the local community. This is Unionburger’s eleventh restaurant in South Wales, and it plans to open a twelfth in Cross Hands in the Autumn.
Cooke & Arkwright’s Retail & Leisure agency acted on behalf of Unionburger to acquire the site at Barry Waterfront Retail Park and is advising on the acquisition at Cross Hands.
Franchisee Chris Baker said, “We took the decision to close all of our restaurants on March 24th for a number of weeks even though we were not instructed to do so by the Government. We remained closed throughout April whilst we put into place plans to safely reopen our drive-thru restaurants. One of our main challenges prior to opening was to source adequate quantities of PPE for our staff. Although most of my staff were furloughed, I kept some key personnel employed and thanks to their efforts in implementing a safe working environment for our staff we were one of the first fast-food outlets to reopen in May.
“Business remains a challenge thanks to Covid, but the safety of our staff and customers must come first. My hope for the future is that an effective vaccine can be found to enable us to return to normal. My feeling, however, is that we are in for a long haul and none of us knows what the ‘new normal’ will be. The beauty of our industry though is our ability to adapt to whatever challenges are thrown at us.”
Huw Thomas, Director at Cooke & Arkwright added, “This new drive-thru is good news for both the Waterfront Retail Park and Barry in terms of job creation and service provision. It is in a very prominent location close to Morrisons and is highly visible and accessible to people heading to and from the waterfront and the retail park.
“Unionburger are planning to open several new restaurants over the next couple of years and we continue to actively look for new sites, in particular drive thru locations.”
Unionburger currently employs around 325 people across South Wales and at its drive-thru in Gloucester.
Pictured: Chris Baker of Unionburger, left, with Huw Thomas of Cooke & Arkwright