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.
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.
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.
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.
Antigua and Barbuda
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe