Why is McDonald's Doing So Well in France?

Categories: Chain Reactions
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Fascinating article out on the Motley Fool yesterday. Written by a trio of students from Wharton, the paper chronicles in detail how McDonald's managed to succeed in France in spite of initial push-back from French society in general.

McDonald's now boasts more than 1,200 restaurants in France, they say, where it has become the company's second most profitable market in the globe. The company has opened 30 restaurants in the country in the past five years alone. All this while Burger King falters there.

So what's Ronald's secret according to the report?

Apparently it's as simple as paying attention to what the French eat and serving them what they like. In 1995, instead of just importing good ol' American cheese, they started using chevre, cantal, and bleu. They'll soon be introducing a baguette bread roll since the French eat more baguette-based sandwiches than burgers. They've even offered their "le Big Mac" with a whole-wheat-bun option and opened a new concept store called McSalad to cater to healthier French appetites.

The report also notes that most French McDonald's don't look like McDonald's. They use more subdued signage so as not to offend. Inside, they emulate Starbucks more than anything. Comfy chairs, nice art and Wi-Fi encourage French customers to linger. There's even table-side service for people to put in orders for more coffee or dessert.

It all seems to be working, the paper said: The average tab of a French McDonald's customer? $15 US--four times what we spend on average.

To read the whole article, click HERE.

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9 comments
Fern
Fern

McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. are undergoing remodels to look more like chic Starbucks cafes too. Check out the McD's on Katella in Los Alamitos or the one in Norwalk right next to the courthouse (which was the restaurant in the commercial where the dad repeatedly enters the drive thru because he's afraid stopping will wake his baby in the backseat). And McDonald's always caters to local preferences. That's why they serve lobster in Maine and rice in Hawaii.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Dont forget they also serve spam and portuguese sausage in Hawaii also!

BuggleB
BuggleB

I agree that the McDonald's in France look way more cooler than the ones here...at least the ones I've seen while driving from Bordeaux to Spain looked like a chic cafe with a modern, contemporary decor, soft lighting and a really nice looking dining area. It almost made me want to stop by one and eat there. Almost. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

But do that have the Royale with Cheese? 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Mais bien sûr ! Except they call it a Royale au Fromage.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I only know what Vincent Vega told me... 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Fish, there are a lot of things that taste better abroad... The best french fries I have ever had were in the Persian gulf... Because they are fried in lard!

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

When I was in Paris back in '99, the menu at the McDonald's I went to said "Royal Cheese". I ate there more than once during my visit...tasted SO much better in France than it ever did state-side. Perhaps I was a bit homesick. :-)

I'm really bummed that "Jackrabbit Slim's" doesn't really exist...speaking of "Pulp Fiction".  :-D

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