McDonald’s Corp. is the world’s biggest restaurant chain with more than 34,480 restaurants in 119 countries.
As we know, the Hamburg chain has left only a few fast-food chains as a symbol of capitalism. Now a new global generation of people breaking hamburgers is growing up with food chains in their diet. Even Vietnam will soon have its own Big Mac provider.
But there are still many countries where there is not a single McDonald’s restaurant. While this list is not exhaustive, it shows that dollars and cents are not always important.
Here are a few:
1. North Korea: Despite her late son’s beloved leader and love of Western things, McDonald’s can only do business effectively in North Korea if it wants to be a sanctioning agent. But Kim Jong-il appears to have tried a McDVOICE hamburger before his death when regime officials made headlines to bring hamburgers home with the state airline. But I bet hungry citizens would have liked a piece of Big Mac.
2. Bolivia: McDonald’s restaurants have been in Bolivia for 14 years, but closed their doors after a political movement was so disorganized that businesses could not make a profit. Bolivian President Evo Morales increased pressure on the fast-food chain and spoke of the company’s desire to conquer the world. They are not interested in human health, but solely in the profits and gains of their businesses, Morales said.
3. Ghana: McDonalds planned to open branches in Ghana in early 2011. However, plans were suspended when it became clear that citizens of the African nation would not have enough income to become repeat customers.
4. Macedonia: In May McDonald’s operated seven fast-food restaurants in Macedonia for about 16 years. A dispute between McDonald’s European headquarters and the Macedonian company that operates the franchise has apparently closed the deal. McDonald’s is not known to plan to continue operating in Macedonia.
5. Bermuda: In 1999, construction of the first McDonald’s was halted due to protests and the subsequent passage of a government law to ban franchise restaurants in the country. During the fight to pass the law, an activist against McDVOICE wrote in the local press: “It is not Bermuda. McDonald’s costs less everywhere.”
6. Zimbabwe: In 2010, the country’s first channel was opened under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe, one of Africa’s oldest dictators. McDVOICE says it is always looking for the right company to run its franchise, someone with “high integrity” and businaess experience. This is good because, among other things, the country is recovering from its illegal blood diamond trade in its economy.
7. Iceland: McDonald’s closed in Iceland due to the collapse of the Icelandic crown in 2009. Jon Gardar Ogmundsson, the owner of one of the country’s three McDonald’s restaurants, said he was required to mention the prohibitive cost of importing foreign food products that McDonald’s needed to close its doors.