• France's news in English

Protest in French town to demand new McDonald's

Ben McPartland · 28 May 2014, 17:13

Published: 28 May 2014 17:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The French love for Big Macs has long been known – only in America do they eat more – but the thought of them holding a protest to demand a new outlet of the fast-food chain still seems somewhat unbelievable.

But that’s what was due to take place on Wednesday afternoon in the northern town of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise, where locals have become angry at delays to the opening of their new “MacDo” as they are called in France.

With construction of the new fast food outlet in the town suspended due to red tape, those hungry locals have decided to mobilise.

Around 200 were set to demonstrate on Wednesday afternoon at the site of the planned new restaurant at the entrance to the town, local newspaper La Voix du Nord reported.

(Photo: Facebook)

As the photo above shows a banner was placed on the fence around the building site to encourage fellow “Macdo” fans to turn up.

“Given the number of people mobilized, they cannot close their eyes,” said the man leading the fight Nicolas Pruvos in an appeal to local bureaucrats, who have held up the project.

A Facebook page has also been set up to campaign for the new McDonald’s and has received 4,000 likes. It’s not just burgers that the locals want. In an area of high unemployment there’ll also potentially be 30 new jobs created if the outlet opens.

As Le Figaro newspaper points out, it’s a far cry from the days when French farmer Jose Bové, an anti-globalisation campaigner, and his comrades were sent to prison for trashing a McDonald’s in the town of Millau.

The protest has baffled some readers of The Local who live nearby.

Fast-food has been on the rise in France for some time. In March 2013 The Local reported how sales of fast-food had outstripped those of traditional restaurant meals for the first time in France.

Story continues below…

“In the land of gastronomy, fast food has become the king,” wrote French magazine Le Point at the time.

According to Business Week "France has become the chain’s No.2 market after the US, with 1,300 outlets bringing in more than $5 billion in annual sales".

And it's not just McDonald's that the French have an appetite for.

There were queus stretching out onto the street when Burger King opened a new outlet in Paris last December after 15 years away.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available