Expansion11 Nov 2008
Our business is expanding! On January 1, we'll be purchasing two additional McDonald's restaurants in Hamburg-Harburg: a free-standing McDrive with McCafé on the Winsener Strasse 231, and a satellite restaurant in the Marktkauf Center, Seeveplatz 1.
Winsener Strasse is the closest restaurant to our original store in Dibbersen, and is nearly a twin. It was built just a few months earlier, has the same basic layout, and like Dibbersen was just remodeled with McCafé and Gym & Fun. It has also an additional challenge... a Burger King is situated right next door.
The Marktkauf Center satellite is a limited-menu shopping center restaurant with limited seating in downtown Harburg. There are two other McDonald's satellites within walking distance (Phoenix Center and the Harburg Arcaden), so we'll have to concentrate on the guests in our shopping center and giving them the best experience possible.
We've set up a separate firm, the Petersen-Hanson Familienrestaurants KG, to run the two restaurants in Harburg. We've also reserved the domain mcdonalds-harburg.de, which for now redirects to our existing website.
We were offered the restaurants at the end of September, just before the Expat Meetup in Bremen. So if my fellow expats are wondering why I was somewhat reserved at the Meetup, you now know why (although I'm not all that extroverted to begin with).
The changes for our day-to-day routine will likely be as big as when we bought the first restaurant in Dibbersen, as we'll have to shift our efforts from managing a single restaurant to supervising three. On my side, I expect the administration to at least quadruple, since we'll not only have three times the paperwork, but will have take the time to decide how it all should be allocated.
An immediate consequence is that our Christmas trip to the States will be cut short, at least for Frauke. We'll fly in together on the 23rd, but she'll fly home on the 27th to complete the takeover, while Christopher and I will be staying in Minnesota for another week. We'll be together with my parents for the two most important holidays of the year, Christmas and Christopher's birthday, and as long as we can round up a Christmas goose for the annual goose leg dinner, we can manage the few days apart.