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Is McDonalds coming to Cambodia?

mcdonalds cambodia - McDonalds Cayman Islands
McDonalds'

Is McDonalds coming to Cambodia? The short answer is that no it is not, and it is unlikely to in the near future.

Dear internet it has now been over 3 months since I last had a McDonalds. I’m not necessarily the worlds biggest McDonalds fan, but when you have lived in Asia as long as I have a McDonalds breakfast can truly be life giving.

Funnily enough when people think about countries that don’t have McDonalds they always assume the normal easy suspects, like Cuba, Iran and of course North Korea. The subtext here is that McDonalds is somehow linked to “freedom’, whatever that means…

Now whilst McDonalds is fairly huge in China it plays a second fiddle, or doesn’t exist in a lot of South-East Asia. In the Philippines “McDo” is just a piss poor copy of Jollibee, and in Vietnam the few McDonalds do not even begin to compete with the big guns of Lotteria.

Does Cambodia have McDonalds?

So just to be sure you have not missed the subtext Cambodia is barren wasteland for McDonalds, it does not exist. We do have KFC and Burger King, but in all fairness even these have not been fully embraced. In one respects it is quite strange to see people so indifferent to “foreign” stuff in comparison to China who love everything foreign. I digress, kinda…

Big Mac in Cambodia
is McDonalds coming to Cambodia

So, is McDonalds coming to Cambodia?

In short, no it isn’t. To get straight to the point McDonalds have “apparently” been talking about opening a Cambodia branch since 2005, but it simply hasn’t happened. 

Although if you read the hundreds of posts and forums from expats in Cambodia you’d assume that foreigners literally think about nothing else but getting a fix from Ronald McDonald, but sorry guys the truth is hard to swallow.

Firstly now, not even the global behemoth that is McDonalds are gonna open a franchise during a global pandemic, but point two is gonna be even harder to swallow.

Secondly, however you wanna put it Cambodians simply aren’t clamoring for McDonalds, McDonalds didn’t set the sky on fire in Vietnam, and sadly expat Big Mac consumption isn’t enough of a business plan.

And lastly, and this is probably the most important part out of all of this! There’s a rather important chap who owns Burger King and it really wouldn’t be in his interests for an interloper to come in would it?

This will not stop expats chattering in groups about the imminent arrival to Cambodia of McDonalds, but the reality is, you better hope they open that Thai border soon. Better still made do with Burger King.

McDonalds Cambodia – The McDouble Update!

This has been one of my more popular articles and indeed one I have not had to touch for a long time, but there has recently been a few noteworthy events to update on. First there was The Vine, which makes its own version of The Big Mac, but that was a bit meh. Then last week a company started importing McDonalds from Thailand to Cambodia. You can read this crazy story here.

When is McDonalds coming to Cambodia - Pong Muffin
Pong Muffin vs McMuffin

Frozen McDonald’s will only get you so far though, so it was second discovery that really blew my world. Pong’s Cambodia have developed perhaps a better version of the McMuffin! They call it a muffin – you can read more about Pong here.

To read more about the global reach of McDonalds check out the following article.

Written by Gareth

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