Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Finally, Island Grill Comes to Mandeville

Published:Friday | January 1, 2016 | 1:00 AMBarbara Ellington
Additional seating area at the Island Grill Mandeville restaurant.
A part of the team (from left) restaurant manager, Leonie Brown, senior district manger in the operations department Andrew Peters, shift manager Karmika Brown and (in front) kitchen supervisor in charge of product quality, Peter-Gaye Clarke.
Customers in Mandeville will be able to enjoy all the items from the menu listings of all the Island Grill locations.
Restaurant Manager Leonie Brown (left) and senior district manger in the operations department Andrew Peters talk about the newest location in the Island Grill chain.
Island Grill Mandeville Restaurant.
Island Grill has introduced their new environmentally friendly food boxes to the Mandeville branch.
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Finally, Island Grill comes to Mandeville

With Thursday's official opening of one of its largest branches, there are now 17 Island Grill locations where lovers of Jamaica's favourite healthy choices for fast food can get the chain's menu offerings.

The management of Island Grill had, over the years, received numerous requests to come to the cool, quiet mid-island capital and having found what they believe is an ideal location in Midland Mall, the store is finally here. At Wednesday's 'soft opening', district manager for Island Grill's operations department Andrew Peters told The Gleaner that the new branch comes after numerous requests from members of the Mandeville community throughout the years. There are 3,200 square feet of space with seating capacity for 80 patrons. There is an indoor seating area and an outdoor covered area where diners can experience the cool temperatures with which Mandeville is synonymous.

"It has taken us roughly three months to complete the store," said Peters adding that they had wanted it to be ready before Christmas. "The idea for a Mandeville branch has been on the table for a long time. The community called for it and we have now answered. Although we are not directly in the town centre, we have an ideal location because there is ample parking and also a drive-through window," Peters said.

Island Grill Mandeville has provided much-needed employment for 47 persons including eight managers who will work across three eight-hour shifts. The opening hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on week days and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, but they will close at 9 p.m. on Sundays. They also open on public holidays and the prices as well as menu items are the same in all locations.

To prepare for the opening, on Wednesday, team members distributed free coupons to their neighbours in the plaza, suppliers, and service providers. They also held a three-hour sampling of the menu items.

Meanwhile, restaurant manager Leonie Brown is upbeat about the move from the capital city back to Mandeville where she had previously lived for a short time. She has been with Island Grill for just over a year, and chose the chain for its healthy cuisine of real Jamaican foods, vegetarian menu as well as dishes for persons who want to preserve the health of their heart.

"I love my job. It can be challenging at times, but like everywhere else, there are different personalities to deal with so I just do what I have to do to get the best results. I love working with Island Grill because of the creative atmosphere and vibrant colours in our decor. We now have our new earth-friendly food boxes and the cups will come in April," she said. Island Grill has partnered with the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica campaign to make the island's environment safer for everyone. To this end, they are now the only such company offering the earth-friendly packaging for food.

Head of Island Grill, Thalia Lyn, told The Gleaner that there will be grand opening at a future date. She said that during the last few years, most of the requests on their Facebook page "were from persons begging us to come to Mandeville". She said that during the first half of 2016, another branch is due to be opened in the Sovereign Centre Portmore location.

barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com