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6 Countries That Have Banned McDonald’s

No surprise that North Korea is on the list.

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Ronald McDonald seems omnipresent. It’s like you can’t go anywhere without seeing a McDonald’s restaurant, especially if you’re in an urban area. When you go to a place and you’re not sure what to eat, the presence of the Golden Arch can be very comforting.

Which is why it may come as a surprise to learn that there are some places that actually banned McDonald’s restaurants. Here are some of the countries where Ronald is just not welcome to serve burgers and fries.

Iran

Western franchises such as McDonald’s are collateral damages of the sketchy relations between Iran and the United States. Since 1979, there have been no Golden Arches seen in the country.

Not only did Iran ban Ronald from operating, it created its own substitute…

Bermuda

Bermuda has been banning foreign fast-food joints since the 1970s and until 1995, there’s been only one McDonald’s restaurant here. After that? Zero. In 1985, McDonald’s managed to find a loophole in Bermuda’s law, so they built a branch on a U.S. Naval Air Station.

But the station closed in 1995, which closed McDonald’s along with it.

The franchise did try to enter the Bermuda market in 1999 but the country’s law did not allow it anymore.

Macedonia

There used to be seven McDonald’s restaurants in this small European nation, several of them located in its capital Skopje. In 2013, however, the person running the franchises in the country lost the license and so the seven stores had to close. There was also a rumor that the European CEO of McDonald’s and the franchisee in Macedonia had a falling-out.

An old McDonald’s in Macedonia

North Korea

This is not a surprise, given North Korea’s totalitarian regime and aversion to American businesses. According to an article from the Telegraph, some elite members of the North Korean government have smuggled McDonald’s products from South Korea – not for selling, but to satisfy their own cravings.

One of the numerous McDonald’s in South Korea.

Montenegro

In 2003, the fast-food giant opened a “mobile McDonald’s” by buying a tiny store and operating from it, hoping that it could lead to something bigger and more permanent. Although lots of people have welcomed McDonald’s products, the government, with the help of local businesses, prevented Ronald from becoming a permanent presence in Montenegro.

Montenegro’s “Mobile McDonald’s”

Iceland

McDonald’s prospects in Iceland was crushed when the country went through a major economic crash in 2009. Actually, Iceland had McDonald’s in its capital city before the crash. However, there were talks that the government was not keen on its citizens eating Happy Meals since they’ve always been a very health-conscious country.

A McDonald’s on Suðurlandsbraut street in the Skeifan shopping area was closed in 2009.

It seems this may change soon. According to Iceland Mag, the popular fastfood brand has plans to penetrate the market again.

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