An appeal court in Bordeaux has ordered the town of Dolus-d'Oléron, on the highly popular Atlantic island of Oléron, to let the fast food chain start building a restaurant there.
The town mayor Grégory Gendre, who for years has led efforts to block McDonald’s on the grounds that it does not fit with Oléron’s low-key, eco-friendly ambiance, said he would consider another appeal but that this was unlikely.
His town has paid a hefty price in its battle against the burger chain.
A lower court in Poitiers a year ago ordered it to grant the building permit and if it failed to do so to pay 300 euros every day that it was withheld.
The Bordeaux court upheld that judgement, which means that Dolus-d'Oléron now has a total of 105,000 euros to pay, with 300 more euros clocking up for every extra day until it issues the building permit.
- The fight to save a McDonald's in France
- France reveals new recipe to tackle the nation's love of junk food
- The phenomenal figures that reveal the French appetite for fast food
Earlier this year mayor Gendre launched a sustainable food zone, provocatively named “McDolus”, as part of his battle to keep the island McDonald’s-free.
Gendre, along with 200 volunteers, transformed an old farm into a food zone dubbed “McDolus”, which combines the name of the fast-food giant with that of the town.
Among the fare on offer was a version of a 'big mac meal' that included organic oysters, eel with parsley, and local wines.
But not everyone in Dolus was happy about the island ban on fast food.
Back in January 2015 people took to the streets in protest, claiming their right to tuck into “un hamburger et frites”.
This love-hate relationship with “McDo” and fast food is very much a French phenomenon.
There have been campaigns against McDonald's “aggressive marketing” in Paris and elsewhere, but there have also been calls for McDonald's to open, or to stay open, in fast-food hungry towns, and the French are known to have developed an appetite for the US's calorie-heavy grub.
In fact, a March 2018 study found that “le hamburger” is now the most popular snack in France, appearing on 85 percent of French menus.