THE potential to quickly build a strong base of employees was one of the factors that made Bathurst stand out as a potential location for American fast-food chain Carl's Jr.
Bathurst Regional Council recently approved plans for a highway service centre on Sydney Road, next to Clancy Motors, that will feature a new Caltex petrol station and a Carl's Jr drive-through restaurant.
Bathurst will become one of fewer than 30 Carl's Jr locations across Australia.
Andrew Firn, the managing director of the Carl's Jr's QSR Group, said everyone is delighted to be coming to Bathurst.
The Sydney Road location will be convenient for locals and travellers to the region, he said.
"It gives us both the residential [patronage] that's local to it and it's on a main road where people can get breakfast on the way to work, lunch if they're working in the area and dinner on the way home from work, so it suits us," he said.
"We'd been looking around Bathurst for quite some time before we found that [site]."
Asked what made Bathurst a suitable location, Mr Firn said it was the younger demographics of the residents and the need for more employment opportunities in the area.
Carl's Jr plans to use as many local contractors as possible during the construction phase, and then employ around 50 people from the area once the restaurant is ready to open.
The jobs will be a mix of part-time and full-time positions, employing people with experience and those looking for their first job.
Mr Firn said council had been "really supportive" in the planning process for the development, further proving to the company that Bathurst was a good location to invest.
"Councils aren't always supportive, but Bathurst has been terrific and they can see that we bring jobs for construction and also once construction is finished, we have between 50 and 60 staff working, so it's good for the area," he said.
The fast-food chain also plans to open in Dubbo and Orange in 2021.
The Dubbo restaurant has received planning permission, and the plans for Orange are currently with the council and expected to be determined soon.
"We're opening in other regional areas, but you guys will be amongst the first," Mr Firn said.