Supermac's is an Irish fast food restaurant chain that first opened in 1978. The first restaurant was located in Ballinasloe, County Galway, in Ireland.[3] As of 2019, the chain consists of a total of 118 restaurants spread throughout the island of Ireland.[1] It operates a number of franchise outlets with many also privately owned. Supermac's serves an average of 320,000 customers per week[4] and had annual revenues of €79.9 million and a profit of €7.4 million according to its 2013 closing report.[5]

Supermac's Ireland Limited
Company typePrivate
IndustryFast food
Founded1978; 46 years ago (1978) in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Republic of Ireland
FounderPat McDonagh
Ballybrit Business Park, Galway
Republic of Ireland
Number of locations
118 (2019)[1]
Area served
Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland
Key people
Pat McDonagh (CEO)
ProductsFast food
  • €79.9 million (2013)
  • €72.6m (2012)
€7.1m (2013)
€6.7m (2013)
Total assets
  • €53.5m (2013)
  • €46.7m (2012)
Total equity€53.4m (2013)
OwnerPat McDonagh and family
Number of employees
4,000+[2] (2020)

Its head office is in the Ballybrit Business Park in Ballybrit, County Galway.[6]


Main Street, Ballinasloe, where the first Supermac's restaurant is located
Pat McDonagh in 2016

The first restaurant was opened in Ballinasloe, County Galway, in the West of Ireland in 1978, by Pat and Una McDonagh. A second restaurant opened two years later in Gort, followed by an Eyre Square premises in Galway city which opened in 1982.[7][8]

As of November 2013, Supermac's was the largest Irish-owned quick service food chain,[9] with over 100 outlets across Ireland. In June 2014, Supermac's opened its 100th store in the Barack Obama Plaza on the M7 Motorway.[10] Supermac's also exclusively operates the Papa John's Pizza brand in Ireland as well as SuperSubs, which replaces the Quiznos franchise that Supermac's formerly held.[11] The company employed over 4,000 people as of 2020.[2]

Corporate overview




The Restaurant was named together by locals and its owners: The founder, Pat McDonagh, earned the nickname 'Supermac' whilst playing Gaelic football for the Carmelite College in Moate. This then became the choice of name for his business, "Supermac's".[12]



Through Supermac's Ireland Ltd, Pat and Una McDonagh also own Claddagh Irish Pubs & Restaurants, a chain of eleven Irish-themed bars and restaurants operating in eight Midwestern states in the United States.[13]

Supermac's is Ireland's largest indigenous quick service restaurant group.[14] Supermac's Holdings Ltd. has applied to trademark the Supermac's name in both Europe and Australia with McDonagh stating, in 2015, that he was planning on "responding to demands coming from fifteen cities internationally for the opening of Supermac's restaurants".[15]

In 2013, the company expanded its motor services business by developing the Tipperary Town Plaza and Mallow N20 Plaza on national primary routes. The company opened another plaza in Kiltullagh, County Galway at the M6 Loughrea Junction in February 2016.[16]

Supermac's in Galway's Eyre Square
Supermac's in Youghal
Supermac's in Temple Bar, Dublin



The company has also expanded its hospitality business interests through the purchase and development of the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick, Loughrea Hotel & Spa, Galway, Charleville Park Hotel, Cork, The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise,[17][18] Castle Oaks House Hotel, Limerick[19] and Athlone Springs Hotel, Monksland



Supermac's initiated the "Bring them Home" campaign where they reunited families, whose relatives were living around the world, for Christmas. Between 2012 and 2013 Supermac's flew 43 people who had emigrated from Ireland during the economic recession to locations worldwide back to Ireland to be with their families and friends over the festive season.[20] The campaign was promoted on 2FM's Tubridy Show and through RTÉ One's The Late Late Show, where the winners surprised their families by being reunited live on air during Christmas week. In 2014, Supermac's campaign appeared in Times Square (7th Avenue) in New York City.[21][22]

In 2012, the chain was included in a list of "10 fast-food restaurants you haven't heard of" by the Daily Meal programme on Fox News,[23] while USA Today included Supermac's in a list of "Top Foreign Chains we want to move Stateside" in 2013.[24]


Supermac's Galway hurling sponsorship on a Bus Éireann bus in 2023

Supermac's sponsors a number of sporting organisations. As of 2018, the company's association with Galway hurling was the longest running inter-county GAA sponsorship in the country, then in its twenty eighth year.[25] In 2013, a deal was signed seeing both hurling and football in Galway sponsored by one organisation for the first time.[26] The deal included sponsorship of Galway football and hurling across all age groups from under age through to senior. As of 2013, Supermac's had provided over €2 million to Galway's GAA county board.[27]

The company also engages with other sports sponsorships such as rugby,[28] soccer,[29] international rules football (2005) and horseracing (Limerick, Ballinrobe races).[30]

Other Supermac's sponsorships include The Ray Foley Show on Today FM from 2010 to 2012,[31] and The Will Leahy Show on RTÉ 2fm from 2012 to 2014.[32]

The restaurant chain also sponsored the Volvo Ocean Race 2009 and 2012 during the Galway leg of the race.[33] Supermac's was also a sponsor of Cannonball Ireland in 2012 and 2014.[34]

EU trademarks case

McDonald's claimed the name Supermac's and menu items, such as the Mighty Mac burger, infringed on the Big Mac trademark

In 2017, McDonald's objected to Supermac's registering its name and certain of its product names as trademarks throughout the European Union for the purpose of expanding outside of Ireland.[35] McDonald's argued that the Supermac's name is visually similar to McDonald's, while Supermac's argued that it has traded alongside McDonald's in Ireland since 1978 without confusion.[36] McDonald's won a partial victory, with the EU's Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) ruling that Supermac's could trade under its own name in the EU, but it rejected Supermac's trademark applications for several items, including menu items. It said that consumers could "be confused as to whether Supermac's is a new version of McDonald's", given the almost identical products sold by both chains.[37]

Supermac's, in turn, challenged McDonald's right to hold certain trademarks registered by it in the EU. In January 2019, the EUIPO ruled that certain trademarks owned by McDonald's, including Big Mac, were to be revoked.[38][39][40] In 2023, the EUIPO Board of Appeals partially reversed the decision revoking McDonald's trademarks, permitting McDonald's to continue to use the trademark for poultry products and restaurants, but also permitting Supermac's to use the Big Mac name on its own food products.[41][42]

Supermac's appealed the EUIPO's decision to the European Court of Justice. On 5 June 2024, the court held that McDonald's had failed to prove use of the Big Mac trademark in relation to chicken products or in relation to services associated with operating restaurants, meaning Supermac's and other businesses are now free to use the "Mac" in their business names and in names for poultry products in Europe. McDonald's retains the Big Mac trademark for its beef burgers only.[43][44][45]



Supermac's has donated money to charities such as Trócaire and to local charities including Alan Kerrins African Projects.[46] It has also hosted charity events in its outlets such as Today FM's Shave or Dye.[47]

See also



  1. ^ a b "118th outlet as Supermac's opens tomorrow in Wexford". Galway Advertiser. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Supermac's Careers". Archived from the original on 31 March 2020. The Supermac's Group employs in excess of 4,000 people
  3. ^ "About - Ballinasloe Official Town Website". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Minister congratulates Supermac's commitment to Irish farmers Agriculture, Ireland, news for Ireland, Agriculture, Food and Drink, Ireland". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Supermacs on". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Supermac's HQ". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Pat McDonagh: start-up essentials". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  8. ^ Deegan, Gordon (27 June 2015). "Supermac's boss accuses McDonald's of disrespect". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  9. ^ Deegan, Gordon (23 November 2013). "Pre-tax profits at Supermacs up a tasty 6% to €5.35m". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ McDonald, Brian (29 May 2014). "Supermac's chief hits road with €7m Obama Plaza -". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  11. ^ McCaffrey, Una (29 April 2011). "Goodbye to education and hello to Mr Chips". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  12. ^ Deegan, Gordon (11 May 2018). "Origin of name 'Supermac's' revealed as Irish fast food brand goes to legal war with McDonald's". Retrieved 2 April 2024.
  13. ^ "About Claddagh Irish Pubs". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  14. ^ Murphy, Sarah-Jane (13 August 2015). "Supermac's to create 100 jobs at new motorway plaza in Galway -". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Supermac's in trademark battle with McDonald's". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  16. ^ McNamee, Michael Sheils (3 January 2016). "Supermac's to open six new outlets this year". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Supermac's Boss Takes Over Portlaoise Hotel". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Supermac's launches first fresh meat burger in fast food chain in Ireland". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  19. ^ Kelly, Louise (6 February 2019). "Supermac's chief Pat McDonagh to create hundreds of jobs across Ireland". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Supermac's bring them home competition". 21 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  21. ^ Murphy, Patricia (21 October 2014). "Supermacs snack box takes over New York's Time Square". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  22. ^ Doherty, Eoghan (21 October 2014). "Have you seen the size of the gigantic Supermac's ad that's taken over Times Square?". Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  23. ^ "10 fast-food restaurants you haven't heard of". Fox News. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Fast-food freedom: Top foreign chains we want in the USA". USA Today. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Supermac's in five year deal with Galway GAA for €2m". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  26. ^ O'Connell, Cian (29 January 2013). "Supermacs chips in to unite Galway codes". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Galway GAA ties up five-year sponsorship deal with Supermacs". The42. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  28. ^ "Supermac's supports Connacht Rugby". Galway Advertiser. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  29. ^ "MERVUE UTD Official Website". Mervue United A.F.C. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  30. ^ " Allowing Horse Racing Fans to Connect, Compete and Find Winners". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  31. ^ "The Supermacs sponsored show, the Today FM Ray Foley show, [joined by his entertaining co -hosts JP and Ann] are broadcasting LIVE from Eyre Square Galway today from sure to pop into Supermacs Eyre Sqare after the show to get a glimpse of JP and his crew!!!". 15 July 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2023 – via Facebook.
  32. ^ Mannion, David (25 October 2012). "Dress up for the the[sic] music drive in aid of Barnardos". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  33. ^ Ni Fhlatharta, Bernie (20 August 2013). "Galway's top sporting sponsor in appeal for celebration of success - Connacht Tribune - Galway City Tribune". Connacht Connacht Tribune. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  34. ^ "Cannonball 2012 Makes a Final Pitstop at Dundrum". Tipperary Star. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  35. ^ Hooker, Lucy (5 June 2024). "McDonald's loses right to chicken Big Mac name". BBC News. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  36. ^ Deegan, Gordon (9 February 2015). "Battle of the burgers: Supermac's and McDonald's in name row -". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  37. ^ Hosford, Paul (28 January 2016). "McDonald's wins fight against Supermacs". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  38. ^ Hamilton, Peter (15 January 2019). "Supermac's wins trademark battle with McDonald's". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  39. ^ "McDonald's loses case against Irish rival". BBC News. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  40. ^ Bodoni, Stephanie; Patton, Leslie (16 January 2019). "Irish burger chain beats McDonald's in Big Mac trademark battle". Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  41. ^ "Trademark rights in McDonald's BIG MAC trademark partially upheld". Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  42. ^ Connelly, Tony (5 June 2024). "Supermac's wins Big Mac trademark case with McDonald's". RTÉ News. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  43. ^ Power, Jack (5 June 2024). "EU court rules in favour of Supermac's in 'Big Mac' trademark row with McDonald's". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  44. ^ Connelly, Tony (5 June 2024). "Supermac's wins Big Mac trademark case with McDonald's". RTÉ News. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  45. ^ Hosford, Paul (5 June 2024). "EU court rules in favour of Supermac's in trademark dispute with McDonald's over 'Big Mac'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  46. ^ McCarthy, Richie (23 December 2009). "Sports stars give their cups to Galway". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  47. ^ "Supermac's - Over €18,000 and counting raised for the... - Facebook". 1 March 2011. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2015.[better source needed]