McDonald's opens Australia's most remote restaurants

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PERTH -- McDonald's Australia is spending $4 million to open two of Australia's - and maybe the world's - most isolated fast food restaurants as part of the company's strategy to increase its exposure in remote rural areas.

Situated at Karratha and Port Hedland in the state's desolate northwest Pilbara mining region, and more than 1,100 miles from their supply base in Perth, McDonald's says the stores prove the company's determination to deliver its product anywhere.

Michael Bolton, McDonald's state manager, says the company has spent two years evaluating the project, examining how to withstand the region's regular cyclones and floods as well as such things as how to maintain the correct temperature for its hamburger buns. In summer, the mercury often rises to 120 degrees fahrenheit and more.

"We believe we can maintain our standards of service and fresh food in spite of the vast distances," Mr. Bolton says. The stores will be run by local franchisees, following McDonald's strategy of involving the local community.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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