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McDonald’s Invades: France Surrenders, Italy Resists

mcdonalds.jpgMake of it what you will, but I have always found it interesting — if none too encouraging — that France has embraced McDonald’s far more eagerly than Italy. Though France’s population of 62.6 million narrowly surpasses Italy’s 60.2 million, France has 1134 McDonald’s restaurants to Italy’s 400. On a per capita basis, that is a difference of almost three times.

Les McDo, as the French call them, are located all over France and in all types of neighborhoods — we have one across the street from us, a block from the local high school — whereas in Italy, the Golden Arches tend to be concentrated in areas of heavy tourist traffic.

Note: In 2006, the NYT recounted the failure of McDonald’s to attract customers in the southern Italian town of Altamura. For some reason, the locals preferred home-made focaccia with artisanal sausage to a hamburger patty in a white-bread bun. Viva l’Italia!

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