Craig Newnes

Craig Newnes

Franchisee, McDonalds Colchester


Craig is the Managing Director of CGN Restaurants Ltd - (McDonald's Franchisee) in Colchester, Tendring & Sudbury.  He specialises in hospitality and owns and manages 5 restaurants in Colchester, employing over 650 staff and managers and am one of the largest employers in the city.  As a Colchester Ambassador and a McDonald's brand ambassador he supports and sponsors many organisations, charities and events.

How would you best describe CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee and its values?

A big brand franchise which is a people-business dedicated to its customers.

Who started CGN Restaurants Ltd –McDonalds Franchisee and when, how has it evolved to date?

I moved to Colchester in 2014. Prior to that I had a franchise in London, but I sold up and moved here and took over the three existing McDonalds restaurants. In 2015 I identified, then opened, a 4th branch, near to the Stadium.

How big is CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee now?

There are 4 branches, 3 of which are drive-through. I employ 520 staff, with 48 managers and a senior team of 10.

How do you see CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee evolve further over the next 5 years?

I feel there’s room for another out of town restaurant/drive-through. Branches will be refurbished and mobile ordering will evolve. Despite out of town growth, I would not want to close the High Street branch unless, due to rent and rates, I had to.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based business?

There is fantastic energy in the city. It’s growing rapidly. There’s a great sense of community and of giving back to the community through clubs, volunteering and giving to charities. There are schemes like COLBAC (Colchester Business Against Crime) where businesses work with the Police to fight crime. In fact, last year Colchester got Purple Flag Status, accredited to towns that are diverse, enjoyable and safe place at night.

 What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

Traffic control and congestion and road networks. The volume of new people to the city can create issues but that’s a good problem to have.

As the town expands, what opportunities does this create for both CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee and for the town generally?

Extra custom. I have seen a lot of change in my time here. The growth makes the city an exciting place to be. Bring it on.

Of the 4 key themes being promoted by Colchester Ambassadors, which is the most important to you and why?

No Better Place for Your Family and Business to Live and Grow.