You would be right in thinking that McDonald’s is popular. The Golden Arches was first established in Australia in 1971, Sydney, and now has almost 1000 restaurants nationwide.
Whereas McDonalds has taken off in Australia, not every country has embraced the franchise with open arms. In fact, it has been banned in nine countries! And here’s why
This Caribbean nation traditionally has a law banning foreign fast food joints. However, Maccas found a way past this by having a McDonald’s restaurant located at a U.S. Naval Air Station. In 1995 the base closed and the Mickey D’s went with it!
Probably not surprisingly there was a lot of internal animosity from Iranis towards the large AMERICAN company. There hasn’t been a McDonalds’s restaurant in Iran since 1979 although there is word that as U.S and Iran’s relationship improves there could be a chance of a Big Mac comeback. To make things interesting Iran already has its own McDonald’s knock off, Mash Donald’s!
This small European nation had seven McDonald’s restaurants up until 2013, where the person running the Macedonia McDonald’s lost their license causing them all to close. Apparently there is more to the story, with Macedonian franchisee and the European CEO of McDonald’s having a falling-out which led to the cancellation of the license.
McDonald’s has never dared of starting the franchise in Yemen, the Middle Eastern country with a struggling economy. Doesn’t help that outspoken members of the community have threated militant attacks on any McDonald’s restaurants if they were erected in their country…
McDonald’s began a ‘mobile McDonald’s’ in Montenegro to try and get the locals to convince their government to succumb to their brilliant greasiness. They were unsuccessful and local business and the Montenegro government remained resolute. No Maccas allowed.
Probably no surprises here, if it doesn’t fall under the Dictator’s regime, of which there have been a succession of, then it won’t fly at street level. Kim Jong Un is anti-American business of all persuasions, although there is rumour that high positioned North Korean elites have smuggled Big Macs and cheeseburgers in passed the border.
McDonald’s almost cracked the Zimbabwean market in 2000, however a collapse in the African nation’s economy scared the large American company away. Things were so dire in Zimbabwe that it made more sense to use their local currency as toilet paper rather than buy the actual stuff!
Another country that has a testy relationship with the USA with the last McDonald’s restaurant closed unceremoniously in 2002. The president and Bolivian people regularly protested against the Golden Arches, speaking out against the large corporation.
Iceland apparently holds itself in very high regard when it comes to its health standards, so Maccas was never popular. Iceland did have a Mickey D’s until 2009, before the health-consciousness of the nation combined with a crippling economic crash led the company to pulling out… Apparently there are development plans underway to reintroduce the franchise back to the Nordic nation though.
There you have it! So, if you’re travelling and prone to succumbing to the basic greasiness of a cheeseburger ensure you stay away from these countries! Especially North Korea, which is dangerous as it is!