A List of Countries That Don’t Have McDonald’s

If you ever needed an example of corporate globalization, you have to look at McDonalds. In your travels, it’s hard to miss them. If you’re like me, you’re a little curious what the menu is like. To eat there, that’s another story.

After reading Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation in 2001, I swore off McDonald’s and most fast food. Admittedly, it’s a fascinating story about how they rule the world and their operation. This year, we’ll see the origin story with the release of The Founder with Michael Keaton playing Roy Kroc. It’s likely not to go over well with the fast food giant.

the founder

On my last trip, I saw a Mickey D’s in the Dubai Airport and in new city section of Marrakech. I do admit, the Daily Double Chicken Spicy Mayo was tempting. Don’t worry, I didn’t indulge. I think I broke my no McDonald’s rule when they introduced that breakfast sandwich made with two pancakes.

Mcdonalds-dubai

In my first trip to Rome in 2007, I did walk into the McDonalds by the Spanish Steps. The poster of Dennis Rodman among little people compelled me.

dennis rodman donuts

As with my popular post on where there are no Starbucks, let’s see where there are no golden arches, Mayor McCheeses or Playlands.

The country that leaps off the list is Iceland. Surely, the land of Bjork wants their Ronald McDonald. Unfortunately, it’s too expensive to import the ingredients and operate profitably. Other countries like Macedonia, Bolivia, Montenegro and Jamaica also once had locations but closed due to lack of interest. If you want to get technical, Bermuda doesn’t have a McDonald’s but the U.S. State Department doesn’t recognize them as a country.

As you’ll see in this list, you’ll find the lack of locations highest in Africa. For major countries like Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya, it’s more about calorie consumption than economic and political forces. As this article from The Mail & Guardian Africa explains, the average central African resident daily intake is 1,800 calories. A Big Mac, medium fries and Coke is 1,120 calories. Add in a food crisis and you get the complete picture.

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Armenia
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Cote d’Ivoire
Djibouti
Dominica
East Timor
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Grenada
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Holy See
Iceland
Iran
Jamaica
Kenya
Kiribati
North Korea
Kosovo
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Maldives
Mali
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Micronesia
Mongolia
Montenegro
Mozambique
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Niger
Nigeria
North Korea
Palau
Palestinian Territories
Papua New Guinea
Rwanda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Sudan
Sudan
Swaziland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Tunisia
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
Uganda
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

2 thoughts on “A List of Countries That Don’t Have McDonald’s

  1. Just returned from Grand Cayman, and there are no McDonalds on the island. From what I read, none are allowed on any of the Cayman Islands after McDonalds lost a lawsuit : )

    Like

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