McDonald’s celebrates 20 years in Malta this month. Since opening its first restaurant on the island on Valletta’s Republic Street in June 1995, McDonald’s has served more than 100 million loyal customers in Malta and Gozo.

McDonald’s was introduced to Malta in 1995 by Paul Hili as developmental licencee. Premier Capital plc acquired the developmental licence for Malta in 2005. McDonald’s is operated locally by Premier Restaurants Malta Ltd, part of Premier Capital plc, the developmental licencee for McDonald’s in Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta.

McDonald’s rapidly established a presence in Malta’s key commercial centres in its first years. Two further restaurants opened in 1995: at St Julian’s Spinola Bay in July and at the Plaza Complex in Sliema in September. The following year, McDonald’s opened in Birkirkara in March on Valley Road at the site previously occupied by the indoor market in March. The Malta International Airport restaurant introduced the McDrive when it opened next to the terminal in December in 1996.

Three more restaurants were inaugurated in quick succession: in Buġibba in June 1997, Victoria, Gozo in December 1998 and Bay Street St Julian’s in November 2000. McCafe, McDonald’s in-store coffee concept came to Malta in 2008 and is now a fixture at all major restaurants. The flagship Tignè Sliema restaurant welcomed its first customers in May 2013 and Għargħur, with Malta’s second McDrive, took McDonald’s to an untapped catchment population in Malta in April 2014. (Premier Restaurants terminated its lease agreement at the Plaza Commercial Centre in April 2015.)

Today, 584 crew members, led by 50 managers, serve around 20,000 customers a day in nine restaurants, supported by a team of 20 at the central office in Marsa. Throughout its 20 years, Premier Restaurants Malta has employed over 10,500 people, and has established itself as one of the country’s largest employers of college and university students.

McDonald’s major charity fundraiser, the month-long McHappy Day programme of events, was first held globally in 2002. More than €300,000 in proceeds has been donated to children’s causes thanks to the Malta McHappy Days and to other local charities through numerous fund-raising initiatives organised by McDonald’s.

“The anniversary of the first restaurant opening in Malta is cause for celebration for many reasons,” Premier Capital plc chairman Melo Hili said. “Consistent investment has ensured our success at upholding the brand’s integrity and has led us to develop a trusting relationship with McDonald’s. This relationship allowed us to venture in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 2007 and in Greece in 2011. We now operate 61 restaurants and employ 2,800 people across the five territories.”

“Every day we serve our customers, train our staff, and operate within communities in accordance with McDonald’s philosophy of ‘Good Food, Good People, Good Neighbour’,” Victor Tedesco, Managing Director for Premier Restaurants Malta and Greece, added. “We will continue to bring more value to our customers in Malta, and serve them with increased efficiency and innovation. We look forward to introducing the platform integration concept to our Sliema restaurant later this year. Called ‘Made for You’, this service equips our restaurants with the means to give customers the variety they demand, while delivering the standards of customer satisfaction McDonald’s is famous for.”

McDonald’s in Malta – timeline

1995 – Valletta (June), St Julian’s (July), Plaza (September) 1996 – Birkirkara (March), MIA (December)
1997 – Buġibba (June)
1998 – Gozo (December)

2000 – Bay Street (November)
2001 – Big Tasty is introduced
2002 – First McHappy Day organized globally 2008 – First McCafe opens in Gozo 2008-2012 – Store remodelling programme 2013 – Sliema opens (May)
2014 – Għargħur opens (April)

About Premier Capital plc

Premier Capital plc is the developmental licencee for McDonald’s in Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta. Its network of 61 restaurants includes several McDrive and McCafe operations across its footprint. Premier Capital plc’s staff complement totals 2,800 people. McDonald’s is operated in Malta by Premier Restaurants Malta Ltd.

Premier Capital plc is a subsidiary of Hili Ventures Ltd, the group engaged in logistics, engineering and oil and gas support services; property; technology; and multi-sited operations in partnership with McDonald’s and Apple. It is a proud partner of CMA CGM, FedEx Express, Hoffmann, Tranter, Terberg, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, NCR, and Lenovo, and other global brands.