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Island Grill is a Hit in Mandeville

Published:Tuesday | February 16, 2016 | 2:51 PMBarbara Ellington
Lisa Chen
Some of the guests in attendance at Saturday's official opening and blessing of the new Island Grill location in Mandeville, pause for prayer.
From left: Thomas Chin, Christine Rochester, and David McRae smile for the camera.
From left: Howard Mitchell, chairman of Island Grill, Thalia Lyn, chief executive officer; Island Grill restaurant manager for New Kingston Maxine Shae; Michaela Francis of Coca-Cola; and Msgr Gregory Ramkissoon show the donation representing proceeds of the recent Christmas "Listen to Your Heart" promotion.
From left: Father Garvin, Msgr Gregory Ramkissoon, Father Neil Tiedemann, Custos Sally Porteous, and St Aubyn Bartlett, participate in the official blessing of Island Grill, Mandeville branch.

Just over six weeks ago, the popular Jamaican fast-food chain had its soft opening in Mandeville in response to thousands of invitations via its Facebook page for a branch in the island's coolest capital. Last Saturday morning saw an official opening with members of the business community out in full support of the new venture.

Master of ceremonies Howard Mitchell, who is also chairman of the Island Grill board, guided the morning's proceedings smoothly as a steady stream of customers waited anxiously for the delayed start to the day's business.

Chief Executive Officer Thalia Lyn had high praises for the team which had been drawn from other locations to train the new staff in Mandeville.

"The welcome here has been overwhelming and the team is now ready to handle the volume which has exceeded our projections," said Lyn. She said that after getting over the learning curve, things are now running much smoother. Over the past month, staff was bussed to and from Mandeville from Kingston locations daily to help with training the Mandeville crew in the Island Grill way of operating.

"They have taught the Mandeville team well and now they are operating on their own satisfactorily. A lot of emphasis was placed on improving their speed," Lyn said.

Guests at the blessing included Member of Parliament Peter Bunting, St Aubyn Bartlett of the Jamaica Labour Party, Custos Sally Porteous, and Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon and other executives from the Mustard Seed Communities.

Michaela Francis, brand marketing manager representing Coca-Cola, presented a cheque to Ramkissoon for Mustard Seed, from the 'Listen To Your Heart' Christmas promotion that was a joint initiative with Island Grill. Part proceeds from the purchase of a large refresher drink were added up to make a whopping $735,760.