Photos by Steven Collis
McDonald’s in Margate High Street has marked its 40th anniversary with a party for crew members and residents.
The party was completed with decorations, a DJ, cake, a raffle, and face-painting. Margate mayor Cllr Rob Yates was among the guests.
McDonald’s Margate first opened 40 years ago in June 1983 and later became franchised in the summer of 1995 by Paul Crocker.
A picture from Paul Crocker’s first ever ‘Family and Friends Afternoon’ in 1995 (above) was pulled from the archives.
Paul’s daughter, Rachel, was in attendance at the 1995 event when she was 4 years old. Today, she is an Area Supervisor for her dad’s franchise. Margate was Paul’s first McDonald’s restaurant and today he owns 21 restaurants across the Kent area.
Paul said: “It was only fitting that we hosted a party for our crew and the community to celebrate this special occasion. I can’t believe Margate McDonald’s has been around for 40 years.
“ It was lovely to celebrate with my team especially with the long-standing crew members. I’d like to thank Iain (Business Manager), Ellie (Assistant Manager) and Lolly Knell for leading the organisation of this fantastic event. We look forward to continuing serving the community of Margate for many more years to come.”
Paul says the Margate restaurant is particularly special because it sparked several longstanding careers at McDonald’s. Now the Operations Manager across all of Paul Crocker’s franchises in Kent, Paul Knell attended Margate’s opening back in 1983 when he was just 12 years old. That was Paul’s first ever visit to a McDonald’s restaurant and he recalled how exciting it was at that time.
Paul later went on to become the restaurant manager when Paul Crocker acquired Margate in 1995. And 28 years later, Paul Knell plays a crucial role in supporting the function of 21 restaurants across Kent.
Dave Hewett was also presented with a 40 year service award. Dave joined the company as part of the opening team at Margate. He was the DJ at the party on Saturday!
Paul Crocker started his working life as an instructor at his parents’ riding school in Leicester before joining forces with his father on his other business, a small group of petrol stations in Kent.
As partners the pair grew the business before Paul sold up in 1994. The following year he opened his first McDonald’s franchise in Margate.
Paul and his teams are also active fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House Charity in Camberwell, a free ‘home away from home’ for families of seriously sick children being treated at King’s College Hospital.