These 6 Countries Banned McDonald's, Do They Know Something We Don't?

Although it's considered the indisputable symbol of fast food worldwide, McDonald’s has had difficulty establishing itself in many countries.

The company has more than 34,000 restaurants in 118 countries, containing 1.8 million employees and serving nearly 69 million people. More than 80% of the restaurants are owned by multiple franchisees, and although the company is headquartered is in the United States, McDonald’s revenue mainly stems from other countries.

What surprises many people is the McDonald’s absence from multiple countries, which has put a dent in the fast-food giant's desire to be the world's most ubiquitous company. A lack of economic progress and stability are some of the likely reasons for McDonald’s absence in these countries, but in addition, politics and personal preferences probably come into play. The countries where McDonald's has not been successful may see through the company's façade.

McDonald’s has never set foot into Cambodia, Ghana, or Yemen. The Cambodian and Ghanaian economies are gradually improving and rely on significant industries for economic progress. Cambodia’s strength mainly stems from agriculture, construction, tourism, and the textile industry, thus attracting foreign investments and trading partners. Known as the “Switzerland of Africa,” the Ghanaian economy encompasses mining, real estate, the oil industry, and the automobile industry. Since both countries are flourishing by basing their economies on concrete industries, McDonald’s would not necessarily contribute to either country’s development. Thus, any gained profit or benefit would be minimal for both countries.

However, Yemen is a different case since misfortune plagues its economy. The Middle Eastern country suffers from a dilapidated economy and high unemployment rate, ruining any opportunities for business or foreign investments. Thus, McDonald’s would be more of a liability than a profitable asset.

Bermuda, Bolivia, and Iceland are different from the previous three because they shut down the company. Ongoing disputes between local franchisees and McDonald’s headquarters caused the restaurant’s shutdown in Bermuda and Bolivia. In 1999, the Bermudian government instituted a ban against franchised restaurants in their country. During a protest by Bermudians, a man declared in the local press that “McDonald’s is not Bermudian and it cheapens wherever it goes.” The Bolivian government closed down McDonald’s after 14 years of operation. President Evo Morales condemned McDonald’s and all fast food restaurants in the Western Hemisphere for risking the health of millions for a profit. This implies that Bolivians prefer traditional foods over easily manufactured products.

Instead of public dissent, Iceland closed down McDonald’s because of an economic crisis. In 2009, the Icelandic krona decreased in value which forced the McDonald’s headquarters to shut down the restaurants. Jon Gardar Ogmundsson owned one of Iceland’s McDonald’s and noted the risk of maintaining the fast good giant: “It makes no sense. For a kilo of onions, I’m paying the equivalent of a bottle of good whiskey,” said Ogmundsson.

McDonald’s still remains absent from Macedonia, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Montenegro, and several more countries. Although the company is attempting to make some of its products more nutritional, McDonald’s still endures criticism in multiple countries, where people believe its food is unhealthy and manufactured.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Rashaad Mubarak

An avid fan of online media, Rashaad enjoys reading about global affairs, technology, sociopolitical crises, culture and trivial pursuits in the news. A graduate from Colgate University, he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and studied Asian Studies as his minor. Having traveled to Europe (United Kingdom, Spain and France), his next target is Asia. Personal notes: enjoys writing stories, hanging out with friends, a consumer of comic books, anime and manga, and enjoys listening to music (hip hop jazz, old school hip-hop, alternative hip-hop, R&B, jazz, instrumentals, and other genres).

MORE FROM

HBO programming president defends ‘Confederate,’ says network is “standing by” the writers

“We could’ve done a better job with the press rollout,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted.

‘Game of Thrones’: These are the funniest people to follow on Twitter for live updates

A good tweet is the best antidote to scenes like Sam cutting open Mormont's greyscale sores.

Let’s overanalyze these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon Snow's going to meet his Aunt Daenerys.

‘Dunkirk’ is a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn’t need to be solved

For his new World War II epic, the puzzle-focused filmmaker decided to adjust his approach to storytelling.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk ‘Broad City’ season 4 and their prayers for Hillary Clinton

"Art has just become exponentially more political since the election," Glazer said.

Jenny Slate’s raw, honest exploration of female sexuality is the most riveting part of ‘Landline’

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's new film lets its women characters express their sexual desires on their own terms.

HBO programming president defends ‘Confederate,’ says network is “standing by” the writers

“We could’ve done a better job with the press rollout,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted.

‘Game of Thrones’: These are the funniest people to follow on Twitter for live updates

A good tweet is the best antidote to scenes like Sam cutting open Mormont's greyscale sores.

Let’s overanalyze these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon Snow's going to meet his Aunt Daenerys.

‘Dunkirk’ is a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn’t need to be solved

For his new World War II epic, the puzzle-focused filmmaker decided to adjust his approach to storytelling.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk ‘Broad City’ season 4 and their prayers for Hillary Clinton

"Art has just become exponentially more political since the election," Glazer said.

Jenny Slate’s raw, honest exploration of female sexuality is the most riveting part of ‘Landline’

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's new film lets its women characters express their sexual desires on their own terms.