Hi, my name is Drew and I Love McDonald’s.
I bet that many of you read the title of this post and think that I am crazy.
Especially coming from a guy like me, who obsesses with eating the most local and authentic cuisines around the world. Why on earth would anyone want to eat at McDonald’s when traveling?
But please just wait and see what I have to say, and then maybe you’ll consider my humble opinions.
Before I dive into this post, let’s first discuss how big of an impact that McDonald’s has on the world. As of right now (March 2015), there are over 33,200 locations in 119 countries. The United States is home to about half of all the restaurants in the world.
Here are some more fun facts about McDonald’s:
– They sell over 75 hamburgers every SECOND worldwide
– Its $24 Billion revenue makes it the 90th largest economy in the world
– McDonald’s serves about 1% of the world’s population everyday
– For the next 3 years, McDonald’s is going to open up a new restaurant in China every day
– McDonald’s delivers in 18 countries!
As you probably already know, McDonald’s is notorious for serving greasy and unhealthy food in the U.S.A., which is the reason why so many people are turned off by it. But the reality is that most McDonald’s restaurants around the world don’t have such a greasy menu. As a matter of fact, McDonald’s is considered as a fancy restaurant in some countries, with luxurious interior decorations.
How do I know all of this?
I’ve eaten at McDonald’s in 24 countries since 2012.
Unless you normally travel to countries like North Korea or Palau, then it’s pretty much impossible not to recognize the golden arches when you are traveling. In fact, The Golden Arches are the most recognized symbol in the world.
Also, if you’re a traveler, backpacker, or digital nomad, then you’ll probably know that most McDonald’s offers FREE Wifi inside!
The following 5 reasons will explain why you should dine at a McDonald’s, wherever in the world you may be:
*Disclaimer: if you only have 48 hours or less in any destination, then you should probably enjoy the local foods as much as possible (i.e. don’t eat McDonald’s.) However, if you have more than a few days, then you can travel McHappy style.
1) Different Menu Options
This is the #1 reason that draws me into McDonald’s every time I am on the road. I am always curious to see what they put on their menu!
Different regions of the world have their own local specialties dishes on the menu. In addition, some places just have wacky and unheard of food items that will make you laugh when you read them.
In a way, I can learn something about which dishes a specific country takes the “most pride in,” because they’ve put it on the McDonald’s Menu!
Some of my favorite (and most bizarre) McDonald’s dishes around the world are:
– BubbleGum Squash McFlurry- Australia and New Zealand
– McShrimp- Russia
– McRice Burger- Singapore
– McSpaghetti- Philippines
– McFalafel- Israel
– Bulgogi Burger – Korea
– Samurai Pork Burger- Thailand
Click this link to read some more of the crazy food options that you can order at McDonald’s around the world!
2) The “Experience” of eating at a Foreign McDonald’s
Every time I step into a McDonald’s in a foreign country, it’s a different cultural experience.
As I previously mentioned, some countries really think that McDonald’s is a fancy restaurant. For example, at my current home in Korea, many Koreans do not think of McDonald’s as fast-food option, but rather a sit down restaurant with their family.
The interior design and decorations always vary from country to country. It is interesting to see which McDonald’s has the newest technology (TV’s, ordering systems, etc.), as opposed to which locations have been left untouched since the 80s.
And people watching is the best! Sometimes, I walk into the McDonald’s near my house in Korea, just to watch all the Koreans obsess over eating McDonald’s. It is so funny.
I’m sure you noticed this picture already, but Koreans really do love their french fries…
3) Sometimes, it’s the Cheapest Option
When I went to these countries, a local meal at a restaurant is upwards of $20USD, so I just resorted to a McDonald’s to fulfill my hunger. I don’t want you to think that I do this all the time, but just on the occasions where I have eaten the local foods for 6 consecutive meals and I want a change!
Some form of the dollar menu exists in almost every McDonald’s that I’ve been in. For about $5USD, you can pretty much get a meal that will fill up your stomach. And better yet, you can try a local specialty dish!
4) Awesome Delivery Service
Wake up world, McDonald’s delivers.
Yep, that’s right. In 18 Asian countries, you can pick up the phone, dial a number, and have a Big Mac and fries delivered to your door within minutes.
I am telling you that I see McDonald’s delivery guys EVERY DAY on the streets in my neighborhood. They drive a little scooter around with the McDonald’s logo on the back and they are out and about all day long. I’ve also seen a McDonald’s delivery van (for big orders) and delivery bicycles (for smaller orders). They have the whole system down to a science.
It’s hilarious whenever I go into a McDonald’s, to see the delivery guy working his ass off in the back of the store. Scramming to get burgers and fries to loud up his little scooter and hit the road. And their little fancy decorated helmets are priceless!
In Malaysia, McDonald’s has a 24 hour delivery service. Watch this television advertisement to see what I am talking about.
Can you even imagine if the U.S.A. adopted this delivery service? We would have even more of an overweight problem…
5) A Nice Change of Pace
Let’s be honest, it’s just nice to have a change of pace from all the local foods that you eat on the road.
Just like you see below, at McDonald’s in India, they don’t serve meat (I went vegetarian in India due to the poor quality of meat).
In Istanbul, I got pretty sick of eating Kebabs everyday and I wanted a change. So, I ordered a nice Quarter Pounder with cheese and it hit the spot. In Korea, I frequently get sick of eating Korean food 24/7 and I crave some greasy French fries. From time to time, you just gotta do it!
Sometimes, you just need that change of pace that will boost your level of happiness for the day. McDonald’s is the answer 🙂
Which specialty dishes have I eaten at McDonald’s around the world?
* This is the list of the meals that I can remember. I forgot what I ordered in many other places…
– Samurai Pork Burger- Bangkok, Thailand
– McSpaghetti- Cebu, Philippines
– McFalafel- Jerusalem, Israel
– Jr. Nacho Cheeseburger- Helsinki, Finland
– Veg McPuff – Mumbai, India
– Fried Cheese Sandwich- Prague, Czech Republic
– McArabia Chicken- Dubai, UAE
– Durian Crunch McFlurry- Singapore, Singapore
– Wild Shrimp Burger- Seoul, Korea
… But my undisputed all-time favorite is (drum roll….)
-A Quarter Pounder with Cheese in the USA. I’ve eaten it too many times… (ewwww)
I’m lovin it.
What is your favorite McDonald’s dish around the world?