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9 Countries Where You Won’t Find a McDonald’s


Today, McDonald’s is presented in 120 countries around the world, and the total number of restaurants has reached 38 thousand. The fast-food giant even managed to enter markets like Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Some countries will change the name, while others will serve as test polygons for all sorts of possible innovations before their global implementation. But even a giant like McDonald’s is not all-powerful and omnipresent.

Here are nine countries where you will not be able to have a Big Mac (at least not yet).

1. Iceland

In 2009, the Icelandic krona collapsed, and all three McDonald’s restaurants in Reykjavik were forced to close. On the ashes of McDonald’s, rose the local fast food restaurant chain Metro, which has a similar menu but uses local products.

2. Macedonia

The MacDonalds business has lived and flourished in Macedonia for 16 years. All seven restaurants were closed in 2013 due to disputes over the franchise agreement and contractual obligations between the European office and the Macedonian franchise owner. Too bad, so sad.

3. Montenegro

In Montenegro, there was a small McDonald’s mobile point in Podgorica and Budva, but the business did not last long. The restaurant was eventually banned by the country’s authorities. This was their attempt to resist globalization and secure the healthy lifestyle of their nation. At least they tried.

4. Zimbabwe

More than ten years ago, McDonald’s tried to open a branch in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, but a political storm led to the complete collapse of the country’s economy. After this, due to international sanctions, many global brands had to wrap up their businesses and leave hastily.

5. Iran

The only branch of McDonald’s in Iran closed in 1979 after the revolution, and that was that. But since then, the relations between Iran and the West have become much warmer. Perhaps this will be their second chance? But for now, the Iranians are coping on their own: they have their own Mash Donald’s, and it looks delicious.

6. Bermuda

In 1996, McDonald’s tried to open its first restaurant in Bermuda. Due to the active resistance of the local population, a law was passed that bans all franchised restaurants in the country. They probably didn’t want to pay extra for the sauces.

7. Ghana

This West African country is open to international business, including fast-food chains. Over the past few years, KFC and the Chicken Republic have opened in Accra, Ghana’s capital, but McDonald’s is still nowhere to be seen.

8. Yemen

McDonald’s entered the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia markets, but was unable to conquer neighboring Yemen. This is partly due to the instability and decay of the country’s economy, but the constant military-political threats are not helping either. Religious militants have repeatedly stated that they will not allow any American institutions in their country.

9. North Korea

North Korea is a country that will ban any and all US-related brands just to spite the Americans. Even though McDonald’s cannot open a business in North Korea, there have been rumors about air shipments of hamburgers from the Chinese McDonald’s. I get it – everyone loves a good burger.