top of page

Monterey Jack's franchisee case study: M&D's Theme Park

Monterey Jack’s at M&D’s Theme Park is nothing short of remarkable. Open for one week, and it gets enough votes to be shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Scottish Entertainment Awards. And wins the award!

Outstripping even the owner’s expectations, the restaurant has seen an increase of 8 times the footfall of the previous restaurant that was in place.

So how did this invigorated space come about?

Built in just 8 weeks, the restaurant space was completely reconfigured with large windows to maximize lake views and a multitude of private booths and interactive spaces resulting in one of the most Instagrammable restaurant spaces for all ages.

Started on the 9th January 2023, it took just two months to completely reconfigure the shell of the building into the complete, detailed and finished restaurant. The contractors lived and breathed the concept, problem-solving as needed and both the franchisor and franchisee teams were hands on and on site for the intense but enjoyable process.

The previous restaurant had been there for 25 years and needed to be refreshed and made more current. Marc and Matthew Taylor from the Amusement Park management team started their search for a brand that would work well within the park and were impressed with the strong theme of the Monterey Jack’s restaurant brand.

The Monterey Jack’s team drew up some detailed plans for the space to show how it could become a much more immersive experience, creating a Wild West street on the upper floor - a previously under-utilised space. The view was opened up, bringing the outdoors indoors and creating some outdoor terrace dining space. All of the details were captured from the 3D designed sand effect flooring, to the Wild West jail cell beside the Sheriff's office.

The space has been designed to be so much more than a restaurant. The theme park within a theme park offers so many areas of interest, along with the award-winning Monterey Jack’s burgers, mean that the restaurant appeals to the local populations in Motherwell, Hamilton, Uddingston, Blantyre and Bellshill in addition to the tourist audience visiting the theme park.

The additional services offered by the restaurant such as deliveries and takeaway allow for other revenue streams.

Why is this themed restaurant franchise good for theme and leisure parks?

The building that houses the restaurant also contains soft play, and bowling so the combination allows the building to be open all year round, when the park is off season in the winter.

Indeed, the owners have found that the restaurant is attracting plenty of customers from outside the park who are coming directly to Monterey Jack’s as a destination in itself. The other added bonus is that the park and the restaurant feed footfall to each other, increasing custom in both areas.

The process of working closely with the franchisor team has been an intense process, but one that has fostered a close-knit partnership with both sides committed to creating the best venue possible. The franchisor team, as a 25-year-old family business, feel that the process has helped to revitalize how things are done in all areas of the park and has started a process of fresh ideas and innovation.

What has the custom been like since the restaurant opened?

After 6 weeks of opening, the restaurant has seen an 8-fold increase in visitors, in comparison to the previous onsite restaurant.

The family-owned business, who are now Monterey Jack’s franchisees, are delighted. The concept, build and offering of the venue create a unique, themed experience, adding another layer to the Theme Park it is now part of. It is a restaurant that is about so much more than great food, albeit award winning great food.

Marc Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at M&D's Scotland's Theme Park said:

“Monterey Jack’s has given us a great canvas to work from. Partnering with such an experienced franchisor has got us thinking that if the restaurant alone can help our business this much, what other partner collaborations might be possible across the whole park business?”

“We are extremely happy with the success of the restaurant so far - to receive a nomination for Best Newcomer in the Scottish Entertainment Awards after just one week of opening is beyond our wildest expectations! And to win is fantastic! And we must remember, all of this has happened off-season! We are all really excited to see what happens when we get into peak summer season.”

Gary Marshall and Naomi Dunkley (Food & Beverage Director) of the Monterey Jack’s team have been there every step of the way, providing support, with Naomi staying onsite for a month after opening to guide the team every day.

Marc said “We simply couldn't have done it ourselves – not without Monterey Jack’s know-how and operating procedures. Having that support from the franchisor all along the way ensured that we are where we are today.”


bottom of page