Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fast Food

 I subscribe to a daily news email from "Meatingplace", mainly to keep up with American views on Canadian meat industry changes. As a McDonald's fan, this item caught my eye.

McDonald’s announces aggressive expansion plans in China. 
McDonald’s Corp. announced Wednesday it double the amount of restaurants it operates in China by 2013 to 2,000 restaurants, according to media reports, citing a briefing in that country.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger giant plans expand to open as many as 200 new restaurants in China in 2011 alone. The company is chasing Yum Brands, parent of KFC and Pizza Hut, which operates some 3,700 outlets in China.
McDonald’s added 165 restaurants in China this year. The company opened its first restaurant in china in Shenzhen almost 20 years ago. “It took us almost 19 years to reach 1,000 restaurants,” quoted Kenneth Chan, McDonald’s chief executive in China, as saying. “We will get our next 1,000 restaurants within three years.”

There is an old joke  about a guy ordering a hamburger in China and finding a piece of rubber tire in it.  The explanation given was that with mechanization the tractor had replaced the donkey.  McDonald's which makes a practice of using local ingredients in their products, initially at least had to import fat to mix with the ultra lean Chinese beef simply so you can eat the burgers.  Anyone who has eaten an ultra lean burger knows it is like eating rubber tire.  KFC was very popular when I was last in China.  Pizza Hut must have come in the last 10 years.  There are also great many "fast food" Chinese restaurants as Chinese food lends itself to pre-preparation as any one who frequents Canadian buffet restaurants knows.

So far, McDonald's is the only western fast food company in Ukraine.  There is too much competition from local fast food joints, from street venders of Chibreki and BBQ chicken to chains like Potato House and Cilantanos (spell?) as well as other pizza places.  Pizza Hut could not compete here as their well loaded pizzas would be more expensive than the local thin crust thin topping entrees.  Having never eaten a pizza in Italy, I can't say what an authentic pizza looks or tastes like.  Chicago is where the NA pizza is supposed to have originated from, like San Francisco is where NA Chinese food originated.  Don't know if that is true or not.

We have an awesome little tea, bake shop and pizzeria here in Zhovti Vody which Tanya and I frequent at least once a week.


  1. My niece taught in Korea for two years and said that there, there were quite a few North American Fast Food chains. (no Wendy's which made her very angry).
    She said something about there being a "Squid Burger" at the McDonald's there. I'm not sure if she was just pulling my leg or not.... ;p


  2. Wendy's does have great stuffed potatoes. Hard to say about the squid burger at McDonald's. I wouldn't doubt that you could get one down the road at a local fast food joint, though.

    The Koreans who live in China, in the YanBiyan Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, eat dog meat. I've had dog soup there back in the 1990's.

    All sorts of people eat all sorts of things.


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