Wednesday, October 7


Well, McDonald's is opening at the last place one might expect - the Louvre, where it will be found at the Carrousel du Louvre or the underground mall adjoining the museum.  The French have finally caved - McD's has been lobbying this location since the late 1970s. And wisely so: the French, despite their public distain of Americana, privately make the Big Mac number one- France the largest market for the Golden Arches outside the US.

When I was in Geneva, McDonald's the hang-out of us teen-agers.  There was no competition either - Burger King, KFC or Wendy's not yet arrived - if they ever have or will as I have never seen them in Switzerland.  McDonald's in center-town, nearby rue d'Italie where College de Candolle located so an easy stroll (during or) after school. Kids filled the restaurant Friday and Saturday evenings sometimes sitting on the floor for space, eating their french fries and smoking cigarettes (1984, after all).  Today, Starbucks across the street and, from my last visit, it barely dents McDonald's traffic. 

Here, in the UK, the first McDonald's opened in 1974 and continues to expand daily: today, there are over 1,200 restaurants in Britain feeding about 2.5 million people a day (source: McDonald's filings).  In short, the burger more British then fish and chips.  And so with some sadness I report that Ronald moving his London European HQ to .. Geneva by year-end to avoid  tax.  Full circle, dude.  British government better wake up to this as McD's joins Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive, Yahoo and Google who also now reside in Suisse.  But this for another blog.  For the ex-pat community, McDonald's a nice warm cozy feeling of home (even if we never actually touch their food).