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…
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 belongs to the ruling CPP. His son owns Burger King. And it is not really in his interests to let McDonald’s into Cambodia. Game set and match people.
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.
To read more about the global reach of McDonalds check out the following article.