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October 5th, 2009:

McDonald’s: 1, France: 0 [we’re winning]

McDonald's FranceFor the last 30 years, McDonald’s has been in France, serving up Le Big Macs and giving comfort and sanctuary to weary American tourists.

Today, McDonald’s is on the verge of opening its 1,142 location there.

But that growth there did not come easy. Initially the French were hostile to McDonald’s. They saw it as cheap, mass produced and disgustingly American. It was the antithesis of French Cuisine.  They editorialized against McDonald’s, boycotted it and, in 1999, one of their presidential candidates even vandalized a McDonald’s restaurant.

Despite their bluster and outrage, the French resistance to McDonald’s wasn’t much more spirited than the fight they put up during World War II. Block by block, restaurant by restaurant, McDonald’s slowly conquered Gaul.

Today, France is McDonald’s biggest market outside of the United States.

McDonald’s will celebrate its 30th anniversary in France with a stunning coup de grâce. The fast food giant will open its 1,142 French location in heart of the nation, the Holy of Holies of French art, the new Bastille of French culture: the Louvre.

That’s right. A McDonald’s in the Louvre.

Next time you have to see the Mona Lisa, make sure to order some fries and a coke on the way in.

God Bless America!

Previous topics mentioned in this post:

McDonald’s in America [progress]

Chain restaurants in NYC: Saturation point or starting point?

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