McDonald’s fast-food restaurants are undoubtedly among the world’s strongest, most developed, and omnipresent brands which offer their signature Big Mac and Happy Meal in every single part of the planet.
However, there are certain countries which, out of reasons known only to them, do not want this fast-food giant on their territory. Moreover, some of these countries strongly refuse to allow the corporation to open their restaurants and sell their world-famous products.
Bermuda, the UK territory located in the Atlantic Ocean, passed a law in 1977 which banned the opening of any fast food restaurant chains. There was only one fast food restaurant on the island – McDonald’s, which was opened in 1985 at a US Naval base. When the base was moved to another location, the restaurant was closed. There have been no fast-food restaurants ever since.
There had been only one McDonald’s restaurant in Iran as well, prior to the creation of the Islamic republic. The restaurant was closed after the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and has never been reopened.
But, as relations between Iran and the West began to improve, it has been rumored that Ronald McDonald could come to Tehran again. Still, there have been no indications of his arrival.
There used to be even seven McDonald’s restaurants in the Balkan country of Macedonia, and they were primarily located in Skopje. However, in 2013, all of them were closed down as the group which operated the franchise was stripped of its license.
It’s still not clear why McDonald’s suffered such a fate in this Balkan country. Allegedly, the main reason for the closure was of administrative nature – a dispute between the license owner Stevo Janevski and the McDonald’s Corporation.
Iceland was the first country in the world to close down all of McDonald’s restaurants. The first restaurant was opened in 1993, and its burgers and cheeseburgers could be seen on the front covers of all magazines and newspapers in this island country. The American chain withdrew from Iceland in 2009 during the economic crisis. They were not quite pleased with the business conditions in the country that has a total population of approximately 300,000 people.
Due to the international sanctions and restrictions of businesses from foreign countries in this communist and totalitarian state, McDonald’s has never opened its restaurants.
While their ruler Kim Jong-Il was alive, he allegedly used the state airline company to obtain McDonald’s hamburgers. This was revealed in 2011.
McDonald’s vanished from this Latin American country in 2002 due to poor sales. Bolivian people were persuaded that the meals from the fast-food giant were not healthy because of their cheap ingredients and preparation methods.
On one occasion, Bolivian president Juan Evo Morales even declared that the company is “not interested in the health of human beings, only in earnings and corporate profits.” It appears that McDonald’s has left Bolivia for good.
In October 2005, McDonald’s also said their farewell to Jamaica for good and shut down all its restaurants. Allegedly, their burgers were not large enough to satisfy the inhabitants of Jamaica. Since then, McDonald’s has never returned to Jamaica.
The government of Montenegro got in the way of this fast-food restaurant chain as it was “concerned about the health of its residents” and stood by local restaurants and domestic cuisine.
The reason why McDonald’s can’t be found in cities like Podgorica lies in the country’s “resistance to globalization.” However, the Montenegrin government now assures that all companies can operate in Montenegro, including McDonald’s. However, there is no sign of its restaurants.
A McDonald’s restaurant was opened only once on the tropical island of Barbados in the Caribbean – back in 1996. After a year of financial struggle, the restaurant faced great challenges on the difficult market, withdrew from Barbados, and never returned.
This country in West Africa has supported the arrival of many fast-food chains, such as KFC in 2011 and Chicken Republic in 2004. However, there are still no indications that McDonald’s will do the same.
McDonald’s also doesn’t operate in Yemen and Cambodia. Last year, the first-ever McDonald’s was opened in Kazakhstan. McDonald’s also had a branch in Banja Luka, the capital of Republika Srpska in the Balkans, which was shut down quickly as the locals preferred the traditional cuisine.