Warilla McDonald's makes worldwide news

Cindy and John Rymer, of Warilla, enjoy table service at McDonald's. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER
Cindy and John Rymer, of Warilla, enjoy table service at McDonald's. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Katia Dwarte saw the first McDonald's drive-through open in Australia as a 16-year-old employee at Warrawong.

Later, as McDonald's franchisees, she and husband Glenn Dwarte won the first two international McDonald's "Golden Spatula" awards for Australia.

But the Shellharbour business couple have never experienced anything like the feedback they received from a decision to go a little bit fancy at their Warilla restaurant last week.

News of their Maccas "table service" trial, complete with crockery and cutlery, has gone around the globe.

The Dwartes began to realise how far the story had gone after the Illawarra Mercury posted it online on Tuesday last week and the McDonald's night supervisor took a call that night from a newspaper in London.

Then, after it was published in print in the Mercury last Wednesday morning, Mr Dwarte started taking calls from Sydney radio stations followed by Channel 7 news at 10am.

"They were here at 12.30," Mrs Dwarte said.

"Then we spoke to corporate communications at McDonald's and they had been receiving calls as well.

"I have not seen this level of interest in my 35 years with McDonald's. People are asking what is going on in Australia.

"McDonald's is just amazed at how much interest this story has generated and how enthusiastic our customers are to embrace it and experience it."

By Wednesday night the story had appeared in newspapers and online media around the world.

The Dwartes have already received newspaper clippings from London and Las Vegas but Mr Dwarte said the interest at home was also huge.

"I can't believe this story went around the world within 24 hours," he said.

Although the trial is only on Monday and Tuesday evenings, the Dwartes have had people asking if they will offer table service on Valentine's Day tomorrow.

John and Cindy Rymer, of Warilla, are among those who have already tried the experience.

Their meal on Monday resulted in them being interviewed on camera for Weekend Today.

Mrs Rymer, a fitness instructor, said she had a grilled chicken deluxe meal.

"We will make sure we come back at least once each week," she said. "We have been planning this for a week. We have giggled the whole time ... and we have been together for 18 years."


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