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SECOND MCDONALD’S OPENS TO FANFARE IN PAGO PAGO $2.7 million restaurant to provide 100 jobs

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Samoa News, Nov. 22, 2008) – Even before the new McDonald’s By the Bay was officially opened to the public at 1p.m. yesterday, many local residents joined the official opening ceremony that included the raising of flags, for a chance to get inside the new $2.7 million two-story building.

Rep. Tautolo Charlie Agaoleatu described the second restaurant as "your home away from home" while Gov. Togiola Tulafono said the restaurant, known for it’s glaring letter "M" is a great place to bring your "manamea (sweetheart)".

Traditional, political and government leaders as well as members of the business community attended the opening ceremony, in which Father Kolio Etuale, who provided both the benediction and invocation, told the audience that a "house or building without a vision is useless" and this is also the same for a house/building without service.

The First Lady Maryann Tulafono had the honor of cutting the ribbon.

[PIR editor’s note: After much controversy and a lawsuit over the original location of the fast food outlet –within a public park atUtulei Beach – McDonald’s last January cancelled its lease and agreed to an alternate location. According to Wikipedia, Mcdonald’s currently operates 31,000 restaurants around the world.]

In his remarks, Tautolo welcomed the audience at the second McDonald’s with its high tech equipment to provide the best service as well as the "perfect product" for its customers.

Tautolo said it has been a long and challenging journey for the company following the opening of the first restaurant in Tafuna in September 2000, and the local franchise has been the top sales maker for McDonald’s worldwide.

He pointed out the new restaurant has hired up to 100 local residents and the company promotes from within. Currently, the local franchise with its two restaurants provides some 180 jobs in American Samoa, he said.

"Somebody once said ‘to make the dream work, you need team work’; You are seeing this here today," he said.

Besides hiring locally and being part of the local community, Tautolo said McDonald’s has committed to assisting and sponsoring local organizations and civic groups as well as providing scholarships for local graduates.

Togiola, in his keynote remarks, said the hard work has resulted in this new restaurant, now added to the skyline of the Bay Area. He thanked and congratulated Tautolo and the local McDonald’s company "to this wonderful additional to our economy and to our business community."

The governor said he brought a prepared speech but after looking around his eyes caught the letter "M" (for McDonald’s). He said the letter "M" is very dear to him - which is the letter that begins his wife’s first name - Maryann.

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