SHARE
COPY LINK

MCDONALD'S

Burger King set to open 400 outlets in France

US fast food giant Burger King looks set to take a big bite out of the French market, after they announced this week they would be opening up to 400 new restaurants throughout the country.

Burger King set to open 400 outlets in France
Burger King to take a big bite out of the French fast food market. Photo: Anne Christine Poujoulat/AFP

There was exciting news for fans of Le Whopper this week as the American fast food chain announced plans for an expansion which will see 350 – 400 new Burger King restaurants opening across France.

The new expansion plans follow the burger giant's latest partnership with French restaurant group Olivier Bertrand, which also runs the renowned Brasserie Lipp in Saint Germain-des-Près, among 250 other restaurants.

Olivier Bertrand, CEO of the eponymous group, described the joint venture as “a real shift, a strong acceleration for the group, the kick-off for the Burger King expansion in France.”

“We are aiming for a 20% slice of the [burger] market in France… A real leading product in the burger sector.”

Betrand told La Tribune that the expansion would create 1,200 new jobs in France.

In France, the burger chain market is dominated by McDonalds, which has 1,200 restaurants and outlets across the country. Belgian-owned burger chain Quick has just 370. 

Burger King's return may delight lovers of Le Whopper but it may be not be to everyone's taste, however there is no denying the rise of fast food in France. Earlier this year The Local reported how sales of fast food products like pizzas and burgers etc had outgrown those of traditional French restaurants. (click below for the full story)

Fast food dethrones traditional French cuisine

Interestingly, Burger King looks set to open a similar number of outlets as Quick, adding fuel to rumours, circulating in October, that the American company had actually bought out Quick.

However, José E Cil, president of Burger King in France, told La Tribune on Tuesday that the rumours were false.

Following Burger King’s partnership with Italian group Autogrill in 2012, The Local reported how American chain’s tentative return to the French market, after a 16-year absence, with the opening of just two outlets: one in the Marseille Provence airport and another in a service station near Reims.

Parisians can rejoice though, as the first new Paris branch of Burger King is set to open its doors on the 17th December.

By Naomi Firsht

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

MCDONALD'S

40 years of Le Big Mac: Here’s how big France’s appetite for McDonald’s has grown

It's 40 years since the US burger giant McDonald's sold its first French fries in France. Here's a look at how the French fell in love with the Big Mac although the relationship has had its ups and downs over the years.

40 years of Le Big Mac: Here's how big France's appetite for McDonald's has grown
A McManure please. Farmers protest at a McDonald's in France in 199. Photo: AFP

The French may have invented nouvelle cuisine, but it seems the dish they love more than any other is served in a square cardboard box on a plastic tray.

The first French McDonald's restaurant – or McDo as they like to call it – opened 40 years ago on September 17th 1979 in Strasbourg and 40 years on the French cannot get enough of their French fries (though, in France, they are just called fries).

To see how much the French love McDonald's you just have to look at some of the stats:

  • 1.8 million – this is the amount of McDonald meals served up in France every day. That's almost two million meals every single day. 
  • 13 percent – this is the share of the restaurant market in France – the home of fine dining – that McDonald's has.
  • 1,464 – this is the number of McDonald restaurants currently in France, that's more than any other chain. The company aims to expand this by 300 – 400 in the next ten years. 
  • 74,000 – this is the number of people employed either full-time or part-time by the company in France. 62 percent of the team are less than 25 years old. 
  • 2nd – France is the second biggest market for McDonald's per head of population after the United States. 
  • 1st – the biggest McDonald's restaurant in the world is located in Disneyland Paris. 
  • €9 – is the average price of a meal in French McDonald's, making it the most expensive in the world. 

The French clearly have something of a love affair with McDonald's and it is reciprocated. When the company opened in France it was on the grounds that only French ingredients would be used, which is not the same in every country where McDonald's operates.

READ ALSO: Why do the French love McDonald's so much?

The menu has also been Frenchified.

Here they have at times sold the McBaguette with cheese and it isn't one of those plastic cheese slices, not on your life. In France, they use Camembert. You can also buy beer in French McDonald's, just in case you need a little kick with your breakfast McMuffin. 

In France there have been times when residents have protested against McDonald's closing or even demanded a new one open in their town.

Employees fighting to keep their McDonald's open in a suburb of Marseille said their restaurant had become the heart of the community, offering internships and jobs to people while providing a safe space for birthdays or meeting friend.

In a community in northern France a Facebook campaign garnered support among thousands and led to a street protest demanding a McDonald's open up in the area.

Facebook

However, for as much as the French love McDonald's, they also love to hate McDonald's. The relationship has had its bumpy moments.

For decades, McDonald's was the brand French people loved to hate.

From the 1970s it was accused of being the exporter of “mal bouffe” (“bad food”) to the land of fine dining, blamed for introducing millions of French people to high-calorie American fast-food.

It was also resisted as a symbol of US economic and cultural imperialism, particularly by leftwingers, in a country that remains suspicious of globalisation — and more eager than most to defend its own language and culture.

French farmer and one-time presidential candidate Jose Bove built a political career through his opposition to McDonald's which saw him trash a restaurant in the south of France in 1999.

French farmers raided the building site of the McDonald's in Aveyron and demolished it. They had announced their intentions in advance and invited spectators along, offering a Roquefort-tasting at the same time. It was in protest at the Americafication of France

“Roquefort d'abord McDo go home” (Roquefort first, McDo go home) read a slogan daubed on the trashed McDonald's. 

Support for the farmers grew and led to more protests at McDonald's across the country, including some where manure was deposited on the restaurants tills and floor.

The protest outside a McDonald's in Toulouse in 199 saw people turn up with traditional French dishes in protest at the American fastfood giant.

And resistance to the golden arches continues: a mayor on the island of Oleron in western France has famously battled to keep the company out, and the brand is still a favourite target of anti-capitalist protesters during street demonstrations.

And there have also been clashes between McDonald's and the French state at a high level.

In 2016, the French taxman sent a bill for €300 million in unpaid taxes to McDonald's France. The profits were said to have been siphoned through Switzerland and Luxembourg. 

The fast-food restaurant also caused veritable outrage with some French food purists when it had the temerity to add potatoes to its Salade Nicoise in its Italian restaurants. Was nothing sacred any more? 

But despite the run-ins the French still queue up in droves for their burgers and even with the arrival of new rivals in the battle of the burgers like Burger King and Five Guys, McDo still reigns supreme.

 

 

 

 

SHOW COMMENTS