Carcassonne: thirty years ago, the first Mc Donald’s opened its doors in the city center

Saturday June 18, the actors of the saga met at Win Kart to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of a Mc Donald’s restaurant in the West of Aude. The test made small.

McDonald’s brands established in the West of Aude, it was not won in the country of Prosper Montagné… Three decades later, it is clear that the challenge was taken up by Alain Grand, with the installation of several franchised restaurants of the famous fast-food brand. “It was not easy, because we were in a hostile environment!”remembers the one who defines himself as “independent contractor”.

Coming from a family of dairy product merchants from Bordeaux, it was in 1992 that Alain Grand arrived in Carcassonne with his “inseparable” wife Carol. Previously, this soon to be 70-year-old man had notably held cheese stands. Then had converted to the wine industry, with the factory of caps and corks for a Toulouse company. Alain Grand opened his first McDonald’s franchise restaurant in downtown Carcassonne, boulevard Omer-Sarrault, in June 1992, instead of Pierre Pavanetto’s Conti: “It’s not easy to ensure behind the unforgettable Conti… But our first restaurant in the city center was a place for meetings, birthday parties, but also for tastings such as the presentation of primeur wines, a preview in Carcassonne …”

The first McDo installed in the city center before its disappearance in 2012.

From the beginning of the adventure, “we showed determination, while guaranteeing the quality of our products. At the time, many people believed that the sandwiches came from the United States by plane! I managed to fit in, thanks to the people wine that surrounded me”. The test thus marked in Cathar country, it was then necessary to transform it. During 1996, “when nobody believed it”, Alain Grand is going to set up a new McDonald’s franchise restaurant in Limoux. There will then be that of the Salvaza area of ​​Carcassonne in 1999, with a new dynamic: “I had to wait seven years here, before having a functioning business. It worked well at first, and two years later we opened the Cité drive restaurant, route de Narbonne.” In the meantime, the one in the city center closed its doors permanently. From now on, “we want to open a third restaurant in Carcassonne, but nothing has been finalized yet…”said the entrepreneur.

A turnover of 12 to 13 million euros per year

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Saturday June 18, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the first McDonald’s restaurant in Carcassonne, and more generally in Aude, Alain Grand did not fail to recall that he had been unable to do anything alone: “The adventure is collective, and it could not have been possible without my teams.” During this celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of Mc Do in Carcassonne, which brought together more than 150 people on the Win Kart site on the road to Bram, Alain Grand first greeted all those who continue to accompany him in his projects, but also rewarded its model employees: “I’m very attached to people’s performance. I’m for meritocracy!”

Happy to “to practice the values ​​that are mine (friendship, fidelity, loyalty and diversity), Alain Grand can today boast of employing fifty to sixty people in each of his three restaurants in Carcassonne and Limoux. Each year, a turnover of 12 to 13 million euros is generated by these three establishments. “The two restaurants we have in Carcassonne are among the top fifteen in the deep south region, out of 280”rejoices that “talent scout”.

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