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30 Years of McDonald's in Russia
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Yesterday, something much more important than Brexit took place. It was the 30 year anniversary of McDonald’s opening its first restaurant in the USSR and selling Big Mac Meals for three rubles to massive throngs of famished Soviet citizens.

That was the price that your average samogon-swilling sovok was willing to sell away the country to America for: 3 rubles.

Which is pretty rational, to be sure. The Mackie D beats Marx. That one fast food chain generated more soft power than several decades’ worth of Communist agitprop. And it paid off. In 1990, there was one McDonald’s in Moscow, and a Big Mac Meal cost 3/250 rubles = ~1.2% of the average Soviet salary. Now there are almost a thousand McDonald’s in Russia, and a Big Mac Meal costs just 185 ($3)/45,000 rubles = ~0.4% of the average Russian salary.

Was a threefold reduction in real Big Mac Meal prices worth the socio-economic turmoil, demographic collapse, geopolitical humiliation, and fragmentation of the Russian people that accompanied the collapse of the USSR? I believe it was, yes. After all, it was a polity that its own people sold away for a Mackie D sandwich and a pair of jeans. It is important to respect one’s elders and their choices.

***

Here is the same scene 30 years later. Along with thousands of other McDonald’s respecting Muscovites, I paid a pilgrimage to this sacred site yesterday.

They were supposed to recreate the original price, selling Big Mac meals for 3 rubles (=5 cents). In the event, the goyim were fooled (again), with the deal being canceled at the last minute due to coronavirus fears.

But at least I got this pic and a plastic McDonald’s flag out of it. It was worth it. HAIL MCDONALD’S!

***

 
• Category: History • Tags: Fast Food, Humor, McDonald's, Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union, Sovok, The AK 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Svevlad says:

    Eh, Serbian grill is better. McDicks tastes like cardboard, that’s probably why there’s like 10 for the entire country, half of that is around highways with nothing else nearby

    • Agree: TheTotallyAnonymous
    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  3. AndrewR says:

    One can celebrate the end of Soviet tyranny and corruption without welcoming ZioGloboHomo Inc.

    • Disagree: neutral
    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  4. If it makes you feel any better, ordinary Soviet people didn’t sell anything. The decision was made for them by Soviet elite, which allowed Mcdonalds in Moscow to open in the first place.

    Common sense suggests that people at the top of the social hierarchy have the strongest incentive to preserve it. Yet, it is these very people that were pushing democratization and perestroika on USSR.

    • Replies: @AP
  5. Ziggy says:

    I don’t know about Russia, but in the Balkans, McD’s never took off. The prices are too expensive and we have local burger shops that are much better, cheaper and with a larger variety of tastes. In Macedonia the McD’s even closed all of its restaurants 7 years ago and it never opened in Montenegro

    • Replies: @Another German Reader
  6. @AndrewR

    It’s a nice “fuck you” to the Sovoks
    McDicks was stronger then all the might of the Comintern

  7. @Svevlad

    True, if anyone reading this ever happens to find themselves in Serbia don’t miss the chance to try the local grills
    One thing that tourists praise here without exception is the pljeskavica and ćevapi

    • Agree: TheTotallyAnonymous
  8. That was the price that your average samogon-swilling sovok was willing to sell away the country to America for: 3 rubles.

    Anatoly make ancestors cry !!

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • LOL: songbird
    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  9. @Blinky Bill

    More like ancestor make me cry

    I can’t laugh at Koreans crying at Ki Jong Ils funeral because my parents were basically doing the same thing at Titos funeral
    Especially bad since my great-grandfathers on both sides fought in WW1 and WW2 for the King

    Absolutely Disgraceful

    • Agree: TheTotallyAnonymous
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AndrewR
  10. AK is very brave man, when going to some Mcdonalds event after posting this before 😉

    Once it lands in your region, try to minimize contacts with other people. Brush up on your hikikomori skills, they’ll finally come in handy.
    Obviously no idiot-tier things, like going to restaurants, cafes, concerts. Minimize public transport usage.

    • Replies: @sudden death
    , @WHAT
  11. Znzn says:

    OT but what great infrastructure projects are the Russians cooking up for the next 50 years, I mean compare the map of Chinese HSRs and motorways with Russian HSRs and motorways.

    • Replies: @Znzn
  12. LondonBob says:

    Moscow was the last time I ever ate a McDonalds. Russians love it and due to McDonalds owning the land that most their restaurants sit on, franchising came later on, it is one of their most valuable markets. Worth emphasising that real estate was also bought when land was cheap in Russia.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  13. @Korenchkin

    In fairness, Serbs and other South Slavs had reasons to cry after the death of Tito: it meant a horrible civil war coming. Incidentally, Serbs lost that war, so even more reasons for them to cry.

    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous
  14. @reiner Tor

    Serbs did not completely lose the 1990’s wars though (although being in such a scenario as Serbs were in the 1990’s arguably means you’ve already lost to begin with). Republika Srpska and the situation in Bosnia can at least be considered a stalemate or a partial success (Republika Srpska still guarantees the existence and survival of the Serb nation west of the river Drina). The struggle over Kosovo is still not over and is very much alive as long as Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo.

    With hindsight, it is very clear that the single greatest disaster to befall Serbs since WW2 was Operation Storm in 1995 and the end of the Republic of Serb Krajina. It is very possible that this tragedy which resulted from US-Croat connivance, and even more importantly from disgraceful inter-Serb disunity and treachery on the part of Milosevic and other figures (an uncomfortable aspect most Serbs are going to have to come to terms with sooner or later), may never be reversed at all …

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  15. Znzn says:
    @Znzn

    Would Russia have been better off if the government went into moderate deficit spending after 2014? Say a deficit of 2 to 3 percent of GDP? In order to keep GDP growth above 5 percent?

    • Replies: @216
  16. @sudden death

    btw, RF might be already as much screwed as everybody else, if this is true, thoughts of the man after contacts with Chinese in SP:

    Now fifth day, temperature is normal (36.4-36.6) in the morning, now is 37.0. Still hard to breathe, tired as hell, cough. Sometimes, I’m about start to panic but at the same time I got almost normal temperature already. Yesterday there was a screenshots in social media, that some hospital in Moscow was closed and looks like they don’t even have a tests for 2019-nCov (inside msg from worker). In St. Petersburg they don’t do testing for money, only if you are hospitalized. They hospitalize you only if you are feeling super bad and about to die. I still have a chance to seek medical help in EU, but I’m not sure if I really need that because I’m realitivly young (in my mid 20’s). Also I don’t want to put peoples lives in danger.

    But at the same time this virus can exist and progress with mild symptoms and looks like my antibiotics don’t work much ’cause it should be antiviral therapy. All I want is get tested and take right drugs. My father think I’m overreacting, but as a system analytic I see that we a screwed in small things. Russia is defenetly not well prepared enough for that. And medical system is pretty bad (I just know how it works from the inside).

    from /r/China_Flu/comments/ex5lo7/my_case_of_this_virus_whats_next_move/

    • Replies: @WHAT
  17. WHAT says:
    @sudden death

    He just has to one-up them pesky soviet ancestors. They after all only sold the country for 3 rub, and Anatoly will lay down his very life for a shit(and probably spat into) tasteless burger from a faceless franchise kek.

  18. WHAT says:
    @sudden death

    More people will probably get various complications from all the nervousness over The New Bubonic Dengue HIV Plague du Jour™ over the coming months than actually get infected and/or die from it.
    Dude describes a literal garden variety seasonal cold and then adds very typical russian conjecture how bad things must be.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  19. That was the price that your average samogon-swilling sovok was willing to sell away the country to America for: 3 rubles.

    Was a threefold reduction in real Big Mac Meal prices worth the socio-economic turmoil, demographic collapse, geopolitical humiliation, and fragmentation of the Russian people that accompanied the collapse of the USSR? I believe it was, yes. After all, it was a polity that its own people sold away for a Mackie D sandwich and a pair of jeans. It is important to respect one’s elders and their choices.

    I’m not sure whether you’re being sarcastic here or not Karlin. Still, it is a depressingly true thought about the inherently flawed, artificial and simply worthless nature of the USSR.

    There are tragic similarities of the experiences of Russians and Serbs with the USSR and SFRY respectively, especially their respective collapses. Ridiculous amounts of cargo-culting of the west, un-ironic trust and belief in the genuine nature of alleged western ideals and “universal-liberal values”, obscene levels of socio-cultural and moral degradation, corruption, economic ruin and geo-political humiliation.

    I guess Serbs could at least say they took up arms and fought to resist the demolition of the SFRY while Russians simply let the USSR fragment non-violently (minimal Spetznaz episode in Lithuania excepted) with only an unsuccessful Sovok coup effort after to try and undo it.

    A less depressing note from this time period is the somewhat successful fight for the existence of the Russian people in Transnistria and Abkhazia-Ossetia during the 1990’s. Likewise Republika Srpska for Serbs.

    Still, the 1990’s (also arguably up to 2o12) are undoubtedly the darkest and lowest years of Russo-Serb history ever (so far at least and may they never happen again) …

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  20. @WHAT

    >More people will probably get various complications from all the nervousness over The New Bubonic Dengue HIV Plague du Jour™ over the coming months than actually get infected and/or die from it.

    Really I would the most happiest man if your words would come true.

  21. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    The more urbanized Serbs portrayed terrible behaviour in the 90s
    Draft dodging and spending time getting high, going to raves and robbing stores for shoes during anti-Government protests in Belgrade
    Those that did end up on the fronts were usually there to steal what they could and send it back home (these types weren’t that common, but were very visible wherever they popped up)

    Glorification of such subhuman behaviour today should be discouraged and/or punished
    These types are the end result of Communist Citizen of the World type of upbringing

    • Agree: TheTotallyAnonymous
  22. Mr. Hack says:

    Nothing beats Mama’s kotlyeti!

    I like them with potatoes as a full meal. However, when on the go, slice a fat one in two and put it between two slices of rye bread and your favorite condiments – puts the Big Mac to shame!

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  23. inertial says:

    People in that queue were curious, that’s all. I was curious at the time as well, although not to the degree that I’d actually subject myself to going there physically. I talked to someone who did, though. His feedback was, “The service is good, the food is meh, too many people, won’t go again.”

  24. songbird says:

    Do they sell beer?

    What soda company do they use? Still, Coca-Cola? I know Pepsi tried to make early inroads to the the USSR, so they might have had a better supply chain, when the first one opened.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  25. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Common sense suggests that people at the top of the social hierarchy have the strongest incentive to preserve it. Yet, it is these very people that were pushing democratization and perestroika on USSR.

    People at the top of the Soviet hierarchy were a lot poorer than were people at the top of the Capitalist hierarchy (just as was true of middle class Soviet people vs. middle class Western people). During the transition many of the people at the top of the Soviet hierarchy quickly became much wealthier than they had been prior to the transition. So the transition made sense. Fortunately for the Russian people, the Russian masses caught up eventually too. The Soviet-era squalor is a distant memory.

  26. neutral says:

    At least you still have white people in McDonalds in Russia. In places like London, America, France, this ziofood outlet generally consists of non whites, but I am guessing that the staff will consist of a lot of immigrants from Central Asia and Caucuses.

  27. This one is for you AP.

    China adopts key Soviet Technology in All Out Fight against Corona Virus.

    [MORE]

  28. WHAT says:
    @neutral

    Anecdotally, I`ve seen more central asians in KFC compared to MD.

    • Replies: @neutral
  29. Cal Feser says:

    I was looking at those photos and was amazed how western-looking those kids are. But definitely not American-looking (not factoring in lack of diversity).

    While I would never think these were American kids or even Russian kids I would’ve guessed French based their looks and clothes. The “selfie” hat seems like something you’d see worn by East Asian girls.

    Then I get down to the bottom picture and think, “Now that’s a typical Russian-guy look, the manager.” Then after a split-second it dawns on me that it’s Karlin.

    Finally, that beautiful, large-breasted female in that tight blouse holding the sign up with AK looks Polish.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  30. Cal Feser says:

    I was looking at those photos and was amazed how western-looking those kids are. But definitely not American-looking (not factoring in lack of diversity).

    While I would never think these were American kids or even Russian kids I would’ve guessed French based their looks and clothes. The “selfie” hat seems like something you’d see worn by East Asian girls.

    Then I get down to the bottom picture and think, “Now that’s a typical Russian-guy look, the manager.” Then after a split-second it dawns on me that it’s Karlin.

    Finally, that beautiful, large-breasted female in that tight blouse holding the sign up with AK looks Polish.

  31. songbird says:

    Do the women really wear dresses?

    I remember a tragic woman who worked the counter at a local McDonald’s, in my boyhood. She had severe burn scars on her face and a glass eye (not one of the ones that track) – pretty intimidating, if you are a wee lad.

  32. @Mr. Hack

    Mama’s kotlyeti are not available at a standardized, worldwide restaurant at a reasonable price and rapid service at any time day or night.

    McDonald’s reliably brings out all kinds of ridiculous counter-signaling, none of which changes the fact that it is by far the world’s most successful and valuable restaurant (worth more than publicly-traded restaurants #2-20 combined).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  33. songbird says:

    What I like about McDonald’s is that you can you can be in the center of a foreign city, not even have a good command of the language, and ask someone where the local McDonald’s is, and they will tell you.

    And you will have a vague idea of the price, which unlike other restaurants in a city center, will typically be on the cheaper side.

  34. Sparkon says:
    @LondonBob

    In the USA, McD’s wasn’t too bad at first. Hamburgers were just 15 cents, fries a dime. Some competing burger joints had curb service, along with higher prices. The McD’s in my neighborhood opened in the late 1950s, and looked just like this:

    In the beginning, you could be assured of getting a hot, freshly-grilled burger at McD’s, but as the franchise grew over time, it seems to have instituted the practice of preparing a large mass of burgers in advance to handle the lunch rush, and the odds increased that you’d get a burger that had been sitting under a heat lamp for some time, with the patty turning dry and black in the process, making it all but inedible — two bites and done — but at least it was fast.

    Here in the States, almost any fast food franchise has better burgers than McD’s these days. I don’t usually eat fast food any more, but Wendy’s is my first choice when I do, as that franchise reliably serves me a hot, juicy Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe for just a buck and two dimes.

  35. @Sparkon

    The quarter-pounder (and DQP) is now made with fresh beef and always cooked to order in the lower 48 United States. It’s a total game changer. McDonald’s also, surprisingly, now offers a very serviceable cappuccino.

    True enough about the other McDonald’s burgers, but it should be noted that they are affordable and reliable.

    Wendy’s, incidentally, traditionally always differentiated itself from McDonald’s and Burger King by dint of its fresh beef.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
    , @AP
  36. Haven’t looked it up, but urban legend has it that the Swedish hamburger chain Max, founded 1968 way up in the wilds of Laponia, was the first in the world to force the closure of local McDonald’s restaurants. Wikipedia has this:

    Max was the first hamburger restaurant ever to outcompete McDonald’s restaurants, which happened in 1991 in Umeå and Luleå, where McDonald’s (who were later to arrive in northern Sweden than in Sweden’s major cities) in fact closed their restaurants before returning a few years later. In 2007, the popularity of Max forced the McDonald’s in Skellefteå, Piteå and, again, in Luleå out of business.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
  37. @Thorfinnsson

    The quarter-pounder (and DQP) is now made with fresh beef and always cooked to order in the lower 48 United States. It’s a total game changer.

    Next time you have one, look up the salt content. In Sweden, it’s 2,6 g per burger (44% of the recommended Swedish daily intake). They don’t specify the sugar content on their Swedish website, but I’m sure there’s loads of it in the buns (to cancel out the saltiness). I suspect this is why a lunch at McDonald’s makes your body feel funny.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  38. @utu

    How mentally ill do you have to be to eat McDs in Greece
    Tastier (and cheaper) food on every corner

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  39. @Swedish Family

    Salt isn’t dangerous unless you’re an obese hypertensive. The idea that it’s bad for you is more fake news from the same morons who claimed that saturated fat, red meat, eggs, cholesterol, etc. are harmful. There is no reason to pay attention to the recommended daily sodium intake proffered by any national dietary authority.

    That said a meal with a very high amount of salt will leave you feeling parched and thirsty for hours, which is unpleasant.

    My standard McDonald’s meal is two bunless DQPs w/cheese and a large plain whole milk cappuccino. Relatively low salt content by fast food standards so there is no unpleasant feeling of being parched afterwards.

    https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/double-quarter-pounder-with-cheese.html

    American McDonald’s claims 1370mg of sodium, some fraction of course is in the bun.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  40. @Korenchkin

    It’s probably the only way you can assure yourself of eating food in Greece prepared by people who actually washed their hands

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  41. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Okay, based on your post I may try McDonalds sometime when I am driving long distance somewhere. Best cheap fast food I have had in the USA has been In and Out. But it only exists in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas. I go at least once when visiting those places.

    On a somewhat related note – any good cheap fast food options in Norway and Sweden? Will be going on a road trip there this summer.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  42. Sparkon says:
    @songbird

    Sody Pop in the USSR.

    (L-R) Don Kendall, Nikita Krushchev, Richard Nixon, Klemeni Voroshilov, Anastas Mikoyan, Moscow, 1959

    Kendall had been dreaming of it for years, but it was in the summer of 1959 that good fortune came his way at the U.S. National Exhibition in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park. At that time, he was in charge of Pepsi’s international operations, and asked Richard Nixon, then U.S. Vice President, to help him “get a Pepsi in [Nikita] Khrushchev’s hand.” Nixon agreed, and the rest is history. The company was eager to enter the Russian market, especially since Pepsi’s key competitor, Coca-Cola, was not active there.

    https://www.rbth.com/business/327568-pepsi-first-russia

    • Replies: @songbird
  43. @Thorfinnsson

    I’d be more worried about Dutch McDonalds if I were you

    • LOL: WHAT
  44. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I really don’t have anything against McDonalds, and followed your advice and tried one of their new higher grade beef burgers (not bad, but I still like Carls Jr.’s Angus beef better), the last time we covered this terrain. Maybe one of our stay at home patriots can weigh in and let us know if any fast food Russian chains have Mama’s best on their menus? Glad that I was able to re awaken our Swedish giant (you), with this mild gibe at McDonalds. 🙂

    Say, I though of you last night as I watched, with undivided attention, a TV series called “The Last Kingdom” (made from the producers of Dalton Abbey). I’m in the midst of Season 1, and its a fictionalized version of 9th century England during the reign of Alfred. Lots of marauding Danes fighting Saxons with some nice romantic stuff going on, with plenty of intrigues and underlying religious themes too. I think that you’d like it, as you’ve expressed an interest in Medieval English history in the past. I’ll be looking for Seasons 2 and 3, soon enough!

  45. @Thorfinnsson

    American McDonald’s claims 1370mg of sodium, some fraction of course is in the bun.

    Wow, that’s quite the difference! I did a double-check, and yes indeed, the normal QPs have shockingly different salt levels:

    Quarter Pounder with Cheese (United States)

    510 cal
    25 g fat
    42 g carbs
    30 g protein
    1.15 g salt
    10 g sugar (note that this amounts to about 2.5 tsps of sugar)

    Quarter Pounder with Cheese (Sweden)
    506 cal
    27 g fat
    36 g carbs
    30 g protein
    2.6 g salt
    9.3 g sugar (turns out they do state the sugar content on their website; I somehow missed this the first time around)

    In other words, more than double the salt in Swedish QPs. No wonder they make your body go into panic mode!

    My broader point, however, was that salt (especially salt + sugar) is commonly used to make up for lack of umami. On the whole, the less the umami in your dish (from poor meat, etc.), the more you need to make up for it by salting and sweetening it to death. This is why high salt levels should always draw your attention.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  46. AP says:
    @Korenchkin

    Maybe unlike Greeks and Turks, the Dutch use paper rather than their bare hands when they wipe?

    More seriously, it’s an interesting map. Why is Bosnia so high? Why is Portugal such an outlier? Russia is like the Latin West (other than Portugal), Ukraine in contrast is like its Central European neighbors. So Visegrad convergence achieved on this key variable.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    , @Denis
  47. @Korenchkin

    I’d be more worried about Dutch McDonalds if I were you

    A friend of an ex-girlfriend of mine, a very pretty and well-to-do Swedish girl, had a nasty habit of never washing her hands after going to public restrooms. It grossed my girlfriend out no end, and why she went on like that puzzles me to this day.

  48. @Sparkon

    Do you have Culver’s? They are the best fast food hamburger place by far I’d say.

    They are not incredibly fast though, you will have to wait 5 minutes because they grill everything when you order it. Except the beef pot roast, you can get that in 30 seconds.

  49. @AP

    On a somewhat related note – any good cheap fast food options in Norway and Sweden? Will be going on a road trip there this summer.

    I can make you a list when I have a moment, but overall, if you want traditional Scandinavian food, there are no cheap (to say nothing of fast-food) options in Scandinavia. Indeed, I can think of only a handful of good restaurants in Stockholm that even serve traditional Swedish food.

    Three safe choices in Stockholm are Restaurang Prinsen (near Stureplan, right in the center of Stockholm’s nightlife district), Gondolen (just north of Stockholm’s Old Town), and Restaurant Pelikan (in the hipster district of Södermalm; I once took a Ukrainian lady there, and she was very happy with the food, which reminded her, she said, of Ukrainian home cooking).

    There are also Tranan and Tennstopet in Vasastan, north of the city center, but these I haven’t been to in ages.

    • Replies: @AP
  50. @Swedish Family

    McDonald’s was outcompeted in Finland long ago:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesburger

    Helsinki used to be dominated by another local chain but they were bought by Hesburger.

    I guess what happened is that American movies etc brought the concept in before the actual big American fast food chains landed so that the local chains could grab a big enough slice to weather the invasion and compete. McDonald’s poured a lot of money to start restaurants all over the country and they’ve been closing them down one by one whereas local chains grew organically from that one original restaurant adding profitable places one by one.

    I don’t eat at any of them, though, as I’m surrounded by ethnic food places and some of them are even good enough at tax evasion that a proper meal costs less than a burger.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Swedish Family
  51. Mr. Hack says:

    The Russians have beat the Americans at the McDonad’s game, hands down! I’ve yet to see anybody working at McDonalds look as professional and nicely dressed. Her client looks rather suave too, a step above your average, everyday hipster. But he’s a little bit early for Valentine’s Day? 🙂

    • LOL: Dan Hayes
  52. @AP

    That makes no distinction for #1 vs #2 or men vs women. I wonder how that might play out in different languages and what the poll questions asked.

  53. melanf says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    In Lapperant, we went to some fast food cafe. Since all the inscriptions were exclusively in Finnish, decorated in the spirit of minimalism, and filled with Finns, I thought it was fast food with ethnic Finn food. But all the dishes (they were all completely unfamiliar to me) were incredibly spicy, about on the level of Mexican cuisine. My wife could not eat them, but I ate everything (I liked everything-delicious). I still wonder what kind of place it was.

  54. @Jaakko Raipala

    McDonald’s was outcompeted in Finland long ago:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesburger

    Helsinki used to be dominated by another local chain but they were bought by Hesburger.

    Cool. I didn’t know that chain was Finnish. They are all over the Baltics. I remember trying them out at the restaurant near the Stockmann store (another Finnish chain) in Riga, but it didn’t leave much of a lasting impression.

    I guess what happened is that American movies etc brought the concept in before the actual big American fast food chains landed so that the local chains could grab a big enough slice to weather the invasion and compete. McDonald’s poured a lot of money to start restaurants all over the country and they’ve been closing them down one by one whereas local chains grew organically from that one original restaurant adding profitable places one by one.

    This theory has much to recommend it. It’s similar to how Swedish coffee chains (Espresso House, Waynes Coffee, Coffeehouse by George) picked up on the success of Starbucks years before it entered the Swedish market, and as of 2019, Starbucks is still doing poorly in Sweden.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
  55. AP says:
    @Swedish Family

    Thank you! Though I was thinking more of stuff to take into the car while driving north to Tromso (i.e., fast food chains). Will be going through Norway up and Sweden down. Will check out your recommendations while in Stockholm though.

    When we drove through the Austrian Alps last summer we found we could buy very good croissants with ham and cheese near some gas stations (!) when we were in too much of a rush to eat at a village cafe..

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Swedish Family
  56. utu says:
    @AP

    While in Tromso I had best boiled potatoes ever and really tasty Norwegian strawberries. I was there in July. I also tried fried whale meat which had a likable texture of fried liver w/o its flavor which frequently is disconcerting to many. Anyway, I liked it. And also you can get seal meat also moose is common there. But be prepared for high prices.

    One more thing, linje aquavit – very smooth vodka that taste good unchilled.

    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  57. Not sure we can put the guilt of the collapse of USSR on ordinary people. They always voted to keep the contry intact, even though they wanted reforms.

  58. @Ziggy

    Same in Vietnam.

    McD & BK & Starbucks are not really getting traction. Cut-throat competition from native food-culture and moderately-high prices prevent a surge.

    The only foreign food gaining massive ground is Korean due the massive economic-cultural influence Worst-Korea has in Vietnam.

    The only Western FF brand, which is relatively succesful is KFC, due being the pioneer in VN and going native, e.g. vegetable broth is part of traditional cuisine and part of the menu.

  59. @neutral

    They are healthy looking whites as well! Here in Scotland, the ones in McDonalds are extremely chavvy

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  60. @utu

    Garbage like McDonalds stands no chance in cultures with great cuisine and discerning consumers. Also, countries like Greece are dominated by small family owned businesses and patrons that often know the owners personally. The owners of the food establishment do not want to disappoint a familiar patron and the patrons want to support someone they know.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  61. @Korenchkin

    In the Ottoman Empire, the most sought after ethnicity to manage Ottoman elite households ie housekeeping, were Greeks because they were considered the cleanest of the many people that populated the empire. However, they subcontracted the menial tasks to Slavs and others.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  62. @Agathoklis

    Even today, in Anglo offshoots like the United States, Canada and Australia, real estate agents will verbally disclose that the homeowners are Greek or Italian when making a sale because it is common knowledge they are the most house proud ethnicities.

    In contrast, they try to not disclose that the owners are Chinese, Pacific Islander, Indian or even Anglo (pets inside the home, lazy wife).

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  63. AaronB says:
    @Agathoklis

    Garbage like McDonalds stands no chance in cultures with great cuisine

    Mist be why there are no McDonald’s in Japan, Thailand, China, France, or Italy.

  64. songbird says:
    @Sparkon

    Seven years after McD’s opened in Moscow, Gorbachev did his infamous commercial for Pizzahut – then, I believe, a subsidiary of PepsiCo.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  65. songbird says:

    Didn’t someone come up with a falsified economic rule that no two countries with McDonald’s ever fought a war?

    It seems to me that there is a much more interesting rule: black countries tend to not have McDonald’s. A few exceptions: South Africa, Aruba (do blacks self-govern here?), Curaçao (same question again), Bahamas, Tobago. I don’t know if I’ve missed one or not.

    But that seems extremely frightening (I think of all the McDonald’s commercials filled with singing and dancing blacks) and it is a wonder that nobody remarks upon this rule.

  66. I really don’t understand why anyone eats at McDonalds here
    When I was a kid I liked going there because of the fries, since grills in my town didn’t have deep fry cookers and didn’t serve fries
    But now you can get a bigger burger and fries, with condiments of your choice, for a lesser price at basically every grill joint
    Very strange

  67. @songbird

    PepsiCo.

    Reminder that in 1990 Sovoks gave PepsiCo. 17 submarines, a frigate, a cruiser and a destroyer in exchange for Pepsi cola
    Brilliant stuff

    • Replies: @songbird
  68. The McDonald’s I went to south of Moscow in 2001 was nice. The servers dressed up in white lace and to my tastes it was as expected. My future step son was quite pleased to go.

  69. @Agathoklis

    In most of these locations there are McDonald’s in areas frequented by tourists or recent immigrants. In Greece, when one moves away from tourist frequented areas, the local taverns still dominate. The best taverns have no menu (because they offer what is only available the last couple of days from the markets, butcher, fishmongers) and simply know what you prefer from knowing you for 20 plus years. You walk in and they immediately tell you whether they have your favourites on offer that day. If not, they try and cater to what they think you will like that day. Also, they know exactly the way you like your ribs or tomato fitters or Politiki salad. In return, you tip well, bring lots of friends and return time and time again. There are no annoying waiters trying to make a sale or earn tips. And there are no limited time sessions. If the band strikes up the repertoire of Akis Panou or Vassilis Tsitsanis and with good wine or tsipouro, you feel like staying 4 hours and perhaps after closing time, then so be it. It is a sustainable symbiotic relationship. They are seeking to keep you happy and you are providing income for a family.

    There is no need for industrialised food chains selling cheap and nasty food in this environment.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    , @utu
  70. songbird says:
    @Korenchkin

    A pity that they scrapped them, and didn’t get the Ukrainian ships.

    Mercenaries made a lot of headway in Africa with relatively small budgets. One wonders what they might have done with a few ships and no interference.

  71. I’m not a great fan of burgers, they seem like ultimately a blander, more Westernised version of a kebab to me. If it was a choice between the two I would take a kebab over a burger any time, although my preference on that seems unusual as most people definitely seem to prefer burgers.

  72. @Agathoklis

    The problem with independent restaurants with no menus from a tourist perspective is that it makes it very tempting for the owner/staff to rip off foreigners or have a price for locals and a price for foreigners. This sort of thing is why a lot of foreigners prefer the predictable menu and pricing of places like McDonalds.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
  73. @Europe Europa

    There are plenty of taverns, estiatoria (restaurants), tsipouradika, ouzeri (serving mezze anise drinks), psistaries (grillhouses) with menus for tourists and everyone under the age of 50 knows English.

    Frankly, any tourist that visits a McDonald’s in a country like Greece should be detained, beaten, tortured and dropped off in a sack in front of the American embassay for crimes against culinary culture.

  74. AndrewR says:
    @Korenchkin

    Unless you’re extremely inbred, you had more than two great-grandfathers.

  75. utu says:
    @Agathoklis

    Last few times in Greece I had and an ‘escort’ who took me everywhere and for reasons not completely clear to me she never allowed me to pay and even when I went to bar the bartender was pre-warned by her not to take any money from me. So it was great. Every day spending six to eight hours in bars and all kinds of restaurants. She also sounded like you being borderline psychotic anti-American and anti-Jewish Greek nationalist but this did not interfere with sex though when she moaned Nαί, Ναί, Ναί it was bit confusing at first.

    • Replies: @maz10
  76. Kurt says:

    But didn’t the people vote to keep the union in the late 80s? But the leaders just went ahead coz they want more bling?

  77. 216 says: • Website
    @Znzn

    The IMF says hello

    • Replies: @Znzn
  78. Ganderson says:
    @Swedish Family

    What’s the name of the Swedish hot dog chain? Ate there a couple times this summer-jätte gott! Also had lunch at a place about half way between Göteborg and Bengtsfors in Dalsland (Uddevalla?) that served only salmon. Not really a fish guy, which is odd for someone with 3/4 Viking in my bloodstream (…det bor en viking i mitt blod…) but I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon fish and chips. Anyone who doesn’t check out the local joints when they travel is nuts. Even when you travel in the US- it’s not going to kill you to try the local place.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  79. maz10 says:
    @utu

    Sorry to be a bit intrusive but you raised it yourself. French courtesans are said to be expensive Ukrainian whores are famously cheap but nothing beats in Greece where the prostitutes pay for your food and drink? Is the latter a standard or does it come as a reward for some special services rendered e.g. a particularly large amount of drugs smuggled?

    • Replies: @utu
  80. Znzn says:
    @216

    Rising debt is not a problem when your GDP grows faster than your debt.

  81. utu says:
    @maz10

    Not a hooker. She was, I would say, just a colleague as I was doing some consulting at her university. She was escorting me around to show the best side of Greece but the degree of hospitality was beyond the wildest expectations to the point of being creepy.

    • Replies: @maz10
    , @Znzn
  82. maz10 says:
    @utu

    You did not have to answer but in a way I am glad you did for the other comment you made almost made me mistake you for someone you are not.

  83. Znzn says:
    @utu

    Well you said escort right? And we all know what that means, not just someone who shows you around the countryside and treats you to teas and cookies.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  84. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Yes, Serbs didn’t completely lose. Still, it was a horrible war. I remember that we talked to a delegation from a Bosnian university around 2000 or 2001, and if I recall correctly, there was one Serb and mostly others (Croats and Muslim Bosniaks), and they all expressed their horror at what had happened in the 1990s in Bosnia and the whole of former Yugoslavia. It’s easy for people who haven’t lived through war, but war is a pretty brutal thing, which most normal people don’t wish to live through and usually think they could do without it. At least in retrospect, many people said they sensed that things would break after the death of Tito.

  85. I notice that AK regularly makes subtle anti-British comments in many of his articles and comments, although that’s probably just typical of Russians.

    The funny thing is a lot of right wing, pro-Brexit people look at Russia as basically an ally and think the Russian people are their allies, which I think is naive because I’ve never heard a Russian have a good thing to say about Britain or British people.

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @utu
  86. utu says:
    @Europe Europa

    Do British people have anything good to say about anybody else?

  87. @Just passing through

    Some of that is because in Britain middle class whites don’t see mainstream American culture as something aspirational or “cool”, McDonalds here is seen as very familiar like it is in the US, so much so in fact I don’t think most British people consciously think of McDonalds as something particularly American, it’s just a part of the British landscape that appeals to lower class people.

    In contrast in Russia and Eastern Europe I think much of the middle class do look at American culture as something aspirational and still see McDonalds, etc, as representing “cool” American culture.

  88. @Swedish Family

    Wow, that’s quite the difference! I did a double-check, and yes indeed, the normal QPs have shockingly different salt levels:

    Quarter Pounder with Cheese (United States)

    510 cal
    25 g fat
    42 g carbs
    30 g protein
    1.15 g salt
    10 g sugar (note that this amounts to about 2.5 tsps of sugar)

    Quarter Pounder with Cheese (Sweden)
    506 cal
    27 g fat
    36 g carbs
    30 g protein
    2.6 g salt
    9.3 g sugar (turns out they do state the sugar content on their website; I somehow missed this the first time around)

    In other words, more than double the salt in Swedish QPs. No wonder they make your body go into panic mode!

    Sorry, I messed up here.

    I looked it up, and it turns out that sodium is not just a fancy word for salt, as I thought, but the sodium part of sodium chloride (= salt). To put the European measure (salt) in American terms (sodium), then, we need to remove the chloride component, which is around 60% of the weight:

    2.6 x 0.4 = 1.04

    And the other way around to put the American measure in European terms:

    1.15 / 0.4 = 2.875

    This gives:

    Quarter Pounder with Cheese (United States)
    510 cal
    25 g fat
    42 g carbs
    30 g protein
    2.875 g salt (= 1.15 g sodium)
    10 g sugar

    Quarter Pounder with Cheese (Sweden)
    506 cal
    27 g fat
    36 g carbs
    30 g protein
    2.6 g salt (= 1.04 g sodium)
    9.3 g sugar

    Which is more true to stereotype (the American burger is slightly saltier and more sugary).

    • Replies: @utu
  89. Nodwink says:

    This seems like a smart move by the Russkies. With burger-loving Trump in the White House, I guess he’d be less likely to pull the trigger if someone told him that nuking Moscow would eviscerate a giant stockpile of Big Macs.

  90. @Znzn

    He was being metaphorical. Utu is a soul of poetry at heart.

  91. @AP

    Thank you! Though I was thinking more of stuff to take into the car while driving north to Tromso (i.e., fast food chains). Will be going through Norway up and Sweden down. Will check out your recommendations while in Stockholm though.

    I last visited northern Norway way back in the 00s, when I took a girlfriend (she was from Arvidsjaur, in the Swedish north) on a short road trip over the alps from her howetown to the town of Bodø, just south of the Lofoten peninsula, famous for its many whales and a popular stop for cruise ships. From your travel plan, it looks like you will pass it on the way to Tromsø. If so, I suggest you stop by the Saltstraumen (“Salt Stream”) strait just outside the city, one of the world’s strongest tidal currents. You get a wonderful view of it from the bridge across, and when we went (also in summer), there was a huge maelstrom right next to the bridge.

    As for rest-stop snacks, since you are in Scandinavia, you must try tunnbröd and knäckebröd (Swedish crispbread), our only two great contributions to the world of bread (although we have many good less original ones).

    Crispbread you will have to try in restaurants. As part of the dish, it typically goes with gravlax* or gubbröra, but you will mostly get it on the side to eat with butter and some Scandinavian cheese (e.g. Västerbotten cheese or nøkkelost [called kryddost in Swedish]). Tunnbröd you will basically never get served in restaurants, but it’s often sold at roadside gas stations. Ask the cashier for a renklämma (a tunnbröd wrap of smoked raindeer meat, sour cream, horseradish, vegetables, and sometimes apples) or tunnbrödrulle. This last one is pretty exotic; look up the episode when Anthony Bourdian was served one in Stockholm and you get the idea … (He actually liked it — as I do — but the combo of sausage, shrimp salad, and chocolate doesn’t sound like a winner.)

    (Also a small correction to my earlier post: Gondolen, one of the restaurants I named, is south of the Old Town, not north, as I wrote. But you will find it without trouble if you look it up online.)

    * In Scandinavia, salmon is sold either raw (not cooked), hot-smoked (cooked with smoke and heat), cold-smoked (cooked with smoke only — i.e. without heat), cured (cooked with salt only), or as gravlax (cooked with a mix of salt and sugar). Gravlax is not as common as foreigners might think and mostly confined to smorgasbord (served every year at Christmas, Easter, and Midsummer’s Eve) and sandwich cakes (smörgåstårtor).

    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @utu
  92. • Replies: @songbird
  93. Sparkon says:
    @Korenchkin

    Too bad that handwashing map doesn’t show the the whole world. I’d like to see the numbers for, say, Mexico.

    I hesitated to post this, but several years ago, I got food poisoning from an Egg McMuffin. After that breakfast, I had gone to Starbucks to sip coffee and peck at my laptop, when I started feeling not quite right just an hour later. By the time I drove home, it was all I could do to rush into the bathroom before all hell broke loose…

    For 3 days, I could not keep anything down, even water, but I kept forcing myself to drink, knowing I need to keep hydrated. It was a entirely miserable experience, and I probably should have sought medical attention, but I rode it out.

    That McD’s is still open. On Yelp, it has a couple 5-star ratings, but almost all are one star.

    Should I have contacted health authorities to report that restaurant at the time, or at least afterwards when I had recovered? Pray tell.

    Now, I should note that I have eaten McD’s Big Breakfast probably 100s of times on the way to work back when, without any problems, other than wasting time and gas in the drive-thru line, and as I mentioned, I still occasionally grab fast food when out and about.

    Once upon a time, I would have argued that Steak ‘n Shake had the best burgers, but they don’t make ’em like that anymore, and their “steakburgers” aren’t as delicious as they once were. Still good, but not “The Beefer” of my youth.

    Wendy’s also has chilli and baked potatoes on their menu, but the closest one is 10 miles away down a mountain road, and I can’t justify all that running around when I have food in the ‘fridge.

    Do Russians today get freshly-prepared burgers at their Micky D’s? ¹

    Mr. Karlin seems satisfied, but I’m curious if the quality of the food at Russian McD’s has gone down over time, as it did “Back in the USSA.”

    ¹ I know that McDonald’s in Russian is rendered as Макдоналдс, so apparently in Rushglish it becomes Macky-D’s.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Europe Europa
  94. utu says:
    @Sparkon

    “I’d like to see the numbers for, say, Mexico.” – I do not know about hand washing in Mexico but, believe me, they have OCD about cleaning. They keep cleaning and washing everything all the time and keep washing and ironing their clothes. This might be a reason why they are often late.

  95. @Sparkon

    In the UK the usual shortening is “Maccy Ds”, probably because in British English Mc is pronounced “Mac”. I was actually somewhat surprised when I saw AK had written it “Macky Ds” because so far the UK is the only country I’ve heard it shortened to that.

  96. @utu

    One more thing, linje aquavit – very smooth vodka that taste good unchilled.

    Not bad, I’ll grant you that (my stepfather is a fan), but the truly good Scandinavian aquavits are:

    O.P. Anderson (Swedish). Seasoned with caraway, anise, and fennel and oak-aged eight months. Goes wonderfully with herring and crayfish.
    Rød Aalborg* (Danish). Seasoned with caraway. Goes well with Danish smørrebrød.
    Hallands fläder (Swedish). Seasoned with elderflower, caraway, and cinnamon. Goes well with salmon. (This is widely seen as a ladies’ spirit.)

    Note that we never ever drink aquavit on its own — always with food, and nearly always with seafood (at least in Sweden; Danes are more liberal).

    * The name on the bottle will say Aalborg Taffel Akvavit, but everyone calls it Rød Aalborg (Röd Ålborg in Swedish).

    • Replies: @utu
  97. Denis says:
    @AP

    More seriously, it’s an interesting map. Why is Bosnia so high? Why is Portugal such an outlier?

    The real question is why is it so low outside of the Balkans. Is that info accurate? Who on earth doesn’t wash their hands after using the toilet? That’s disgusting. In my family, we would be mortified by such behaviour.

    • Agree: AP
  98. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    And to think, in America, they produced that horrible movie Mac and Me (1988) about the sanctification of aliens, which besides was really just a ripoff of ET the Extraterrestrial.

  99. @utu

    Surströmming is nasty stuff, hehe. I once gave a surströmming party on a terrace outside our apartment building, and even then, the smell was so fierce that people had nightmares about it for days after. I salute the courage of anyone who opens a jar indoors.

    Speaking of surströmming, it was funny in Орел и решка, a popular Russian travel show, when the host, Regina Todorenko, went to one of the most ghetto shopping malls in Sweden, Nordstan i Gothenburg, to try traditional Swedish food. Someone found her some surströmming, but you can be sure that the onlookers were as alien to it as she was.


    @ 26.28.

    • Replies: @utu
  100. @Ganderson

    What’s the name of the Swedish hot dog chain?

    Probably Sibylla. Rings a bell?

    Ate there a couple times this summer-jätte gott! Also had lunch at a place about half way between Göteborg and Bengtsfors in Dalsland (Uddevalla?) that served only salmon. Not really a fish guy, which is odd for someone with 3/4 Viking in my bloodstream (…det bor en viking i mitt blod…) but I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon fish and chips.

    No worries. Fish has been in poor repute for at least half a century in Sweden. I think the reason is simply that fish can be tricky to get right — unlike beef, where you have to be a pretty damn poor cook to mess it up.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
  101. utu says:
    @Swedish Family

    Japanese and dogs like it.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  102. utu says:
    @Swedish Family

    Do Swedish aquavits also travel across and back the equator?

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  103. @utu

    Japanese and dogs like it.

    Well, yes, but dogs also don’t say no to a plateful of dog dirt. 🙂

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  104. Sparkon says:
    @Swedish Family

    Where do they serve it on plates?

    In the USA, at least so far, the poor dogs have to eat it right off the ground.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  105. Ganderson says:
    @Swedish Family

    Du här rätt- det var Sybilla. Last summer my cousins had a dinner for us at the top of the Gothia Towers- they served some kind of creamy prawn dish with noodles. It was supposed to be a west coast speciality, I think. ‘Twas good. I keep the traditions alive on the west side of the pond every Christmas köttbullar, potatis korv, Jönssons Frästlese, sill… och snaps.
    At the risk of creating an international incident I don’t think I could do surströmming. And the guy in the surströmming video with the man-pris; does he have some regional accent or does he just mumble?

    Visited three cities on our short trip, Malmö (no we didn’t go to Rosengård), Lund and Göteborg, and had good meals everywhere. Best was up in Dalsland at my cousin’s stuga — tremendously hospitable folk.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  106. @utu

    Do Swedish aquavits also travel across and back the equator?

    No, but that seems mostly a marketing gimmick to me. What’s the point of shipping the cask halfway across the world?

    • Replies: @utu
  107. @Sparkon

    Where do they serve it on plates?

    In the USA, at least so far, the poor dogs have to eat it right off the ground.

    How very prole! 🙂

  108. @Ganderson

    Du här rätt- det var Sybilla. Last summer my cousins had a dinner for us at the top of the Gothia Towers- they served some kind of creamy prawn dish with noodles. It was supposed to be a west coast speciality, I think. ‘Twas good.

    Never heard of that. I’m from the east coast and not too familiar with the local specialties. But Gothenburg is well known for its excellent seafood (just like Odessa in Ukraine, another major seaport).

    At the risk of creating an international incident I don’t think I could do surströmming. And the guy in the surströmming video with the man-pris; does he have some regional accent or does he just mumble?

    Didn’t catch him. Where in the video did he show?

    But most people in the mall were immigrants.

    Visited three cities on our short trip, Malmö (no we didn’t go to Rosengård), Lund and Göteborg, and had good meals everywhere. Best was up in Dalsland at my cousin’s stuga — tremendously hospitable folk.

    Good to hear!

    • Replies: @Ganderson
  109. Ganderson says:
    @Swedish Family

    He’s the main guy in the “how to eat surrströmming” video that UTU posted. I’m working on identifying my regional accents, but have a long way to go. Perhaps we can meet up for some nosh next time I’m in Stockholm …

    I Mariatorgets damm
    Står Tor med hammarn i hand….
    Man-pris are capri pants for men a trend I’m glad has not made it to these shores.

  110. utu says:
    @Swedish Family

    It could make a difference. Aging: how long, what kind of wood, temperature, humidity, salt content in air, shaking and then cycling some of these parameters.

  111. The McDonalds in Russia seem to fit, they don’t seem like an imposition. Incredibly popular, especially with the young, well run, generally clean, and I understand now sourcing through Russian suppliers? Would today’s Russians trade McDonalds for the remaining Russian lands not in the RD? Probably but only probably.

    Anyway Russian McDonalds is pretty good, better than American McDs for sure with the pretty Tuvan/Buryat? girls running the counters instead of the pitiful specimens you seen doing the same in America.

    Funny story I heard, initially McDonalds offered free ketchup and soda refills. People brought buckets to fill with soda. They had to stop and still haven’t reinstated free ketchup

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  112. Mr. Hack says:
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    The perfectly coiffed young lady standing next to Karlin in the photo that he’s about to assign over his heart(?) to, wouldn’t be one of the Tuvan/Buryat girs that you’re writing about? She looks ethnically Russian to me? Karlin could do much worse…

  113. songbird says:

    It’s really interesting to consider the problem of why sub-Saharan Africa (minus South Africa) is a McDonald’s desert.

    Ultimately, the cause must be HBD, but what is the intermediary cause? I know average per capita is pretty low, and SA has one of the higher incomes, but I doubt that is the answer. There ought to be enough elites, tourists, and businessmen, for a McDonald’s to make money in a lot of these places.

    What seems evident to me is that people don’t think that it is a good investment. Now, since there are company locations, one would think that they would be willing to take a risk to build the brand, if they really thought that Africa was taking off, as many of these PC economists like to say it is. So, one layer of it seems to be that the company does not think Africa is going to converge economically with the rest of the world. The company probably looks at their US franchises and sees a record of failure in areas that are too black, and makes some inferences. Maybe, they would need to pay security costs at African restaurants.

    But then there might be other layers. Too much redtape. Roads too bad to ship ingredients reliably. Lack of rule of law to enforce contracts. Inadequate food production to the point where they cannot reliably get quality ingredients.

    To think, wasn’t that spearchucker guy comparing the economy of modern Nigeria to wartime Germany? LMAO. Their economy is not complex enough to build a big mac, let alone a V2, or an Me262. The Big Mac Index, an economic tool invented in 1986 still doesn’t apply to them.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    , @Blinky Bill
  114. Znzn says:
    @songbird

    You know that African Slaves kicked the rear end of Napoleon’s army in Haiti right? Even if you account for yellow fever, in the battles where yellow fever was not a factor, White European soldiers still get their rear ends kicked.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ravine-%C3%A0-Couleuvres

    • Replies: @songbird
  115. songbird says:
    @Znzn

    The numbers seem to be disputed, and therefore the conclusions seem to be unclear, but how do you know that they didn’t have yellow fever or other diseases?

    The record of mercenaries and other white-led armies in Africa seem to leave no doubt as to who is militarily superior. And Haiti seems like a pretty shameful example to blacks overall, regardless if one accepts the premise or not.

    BTW, there is no McDonald’s in Haiti or even Jamaica. Jamaica had a McDonald’s from 1995-2005, but it had to close due to “governmental problems and declining sales.” So even with the British cultural legacy, they couldn’t succeed.

  116. songbird says:
    @Blinky Bill

    That’s interesting. Unscientifically, looks like KFC is the #1 success story in Africa for fast food. And looks like they got their foot in the door of South Africa pretty early, in 1971, before divesting in 1987 to a holding company.

    I’ve never heard of Steers or Nandos, but I guess it makes sense that if there is a home-grown African model for success that it would come out of South Africa, were they would have had to compete for quality against KFC.

    It’s curious how much of a failure McDonald’s seems to be overall though. I mean, they have a few chicken items.

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