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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:05 PM

Why McDonald's In France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food

Publicité payée NPR pour MacDo? Il semble que oui!

The beauty of McDonald's in France is that it doesn't feel like a fast food joint, where hordes of people shuffle in and out and tables turn at a fast clip...

Naturally, the U.S. is its no. 1 market, but guess who is no. 2? You got it: France. A paper out this month by three graduates of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business says McDonald's is such a success in the land of Michelin three-star restaurants because it has adapted to French eating habits and tastes. There are now 1,200 franchises in France; the company opened 30 restaurants per year in the past five years alone.

Even in these harried times, the French spend more than two hours a day at the table. Sitting down to a meal is a cornerstone of French culture, and McDonald's seems to get that. French McDonald's are spacious, tastefully decorated restaurants that encourage people to take their time while eating. And the cozy McCafe's with their plush chairs and sofas have become an extension to many restaurants...

Another reason McDonald's works so well here is that the food is locally sourced and very high quality... And if you like good meat (who doesn't?!), then McDonald's France is clearly superior. In the U.S., McDonald's says its cattle are mostly corn-fed. While the company doesn't address on its site whether growth hormones and growth-promoting antibiotics are added to the animal feed consumed by the animals it buys, it's a reasonable assumption that they are.

Full post: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/01/24/145698222/why-mcdonalds-in-france-doesnt-feel-like-fast-food


21 replies, 2821 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why McDonald's In France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food (Original post)
salvorhardin Jan 2012 OP
TwilightGardener Jan 2012 #1
JitterbugPerfume Jan 2012 #2
RZM Jan 2012 #7
Jkid Jan 2012 #18
JitterbugPerfume Jan 2012 #20
xchrom Jan 2012 #3
RebelOne Jan 2012 #9
Mojorabbit Jan 2012 #10
lapislzi Jan 2012 #4
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2012 #5
msanthrope Jan 2012 #8
Thrill Jan 2012 #6
customerserviceguy Jan 2012 #11
uppityperson Jan 2012 #12
JI7 Jan 2012 #13
uppityperson Jan 2012 #14
salvorhardin Jan 2012 #16
no_hypocrisy Jan 2012 #15
Moondog Jan 2012 #17
Honeycombe8 Jan 2012 #19
flvegan Jan 2012 #21

Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:10 PM

1. Over here, they treat us like the cattle we eat, and I guess we're OK with that.

You get the level of service and quality you demand--we demand fatty flavor-engineered crap that we can eat with one hand while driving.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:15 PM

2. They give what the public demands

as Americans we have been conditioned to want fat, salt and sugar, and that is exactly what they give us.

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:21 PM

7. I think the public in many other countries also wants the less healthy end of it too

 

I'm pretty sure French McDonald's sells lots of fries and hamburgers as well, even if you can also order a croissant.

'Quick' is a Belgian hamburger joint that is a lot like its American counterparts. I've eaten there and I can tell you what they offer is pretty similar to what you get here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quick_%28restaurant_chain%29

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:50 PM

18. You mean socialized...

as in as "Americans we have been socialized to want fat, salt and sugar, and that is exactly what they give us."

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Response to Jkid (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:59 PM

20. actually I meant classical conditioning

ya' know--Pavlovs dog .

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:15 PM

3. I've been to Paris (heaven on earth) & never

Eaten @ a mcds there.

However - now I want a buttery croissant.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:24 PM

9. Been to Paris many years ago,

and at that time, there were no McDonald's. But France had the best food I have eaten anywhere in my travels, and I have been to a lot of countries.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:37 PM

10. Same here.

Portugal is wonderful (I am half Portuguese) but the best meals I have ever had were in France.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:17 PM

4. Ashamed to admit it, but we ate in McD's in the Louvre food court

It was a surreal experience. But, as the OP stated, the food was fresh and reasonably tasty, nicely presented, and the surroundings pleasant. We used the automated ordering system which offered French, English, Japanese, and other language options.

Overall, I would call it a better experience than a U.S. McD's, even in the crowded and bustling Louvre. Husband agreed--he'd been bound and determined to eat in McD's just to see what it was like. What better place than the Louvre?

Vive le France!

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:17 PM

5. It's called a "Royale with Cheese" because of the metric system? n/t

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:24 PM

8. Damn you. I had this all cued up and ready....

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:18 PM

6. There was an article showing the McDonalds here uses some pink shit

to make chicken nuggets and burgers. We're not even eating real meat.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:38 PM

11. That's mainly because of the McSnails. n/t

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:42 PM

12. There are some (in Paris and elsewhere) that are like USA McDo's

Saw one in Paris that was like ours here, fast in fast out, and another one maybe in Caen (?) or Cherbourg that was fast in fast out but I can easily believe they have ones that are more like restaurants than in/out.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:46 PM

13. i wonder those ones are more for American Tourists

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:14 PM

14. The Paris one was near Place de la Republique, near a hostel but a bunch of other stuff.

The food is quite different, even fries are different. My young relatives thought it interesting to go there occasionally but it is also more expensive. Might as well go to a sit down place.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:36 PM

16. There are some cafe-style McDonald's in the US too

One is just up the road from me. It's really quite nice, and relaxing, inside but despite the couches and overstuffed chairs it still feels sterile and cheap. Even so it's a decent neutral place for a business meeting. On the other hand, most of the people I meet with are artsy design types so I prefer to meet in the real coffee shop that's even closer to me that's just as roomy and comfy, has tasty coffee, and real food (scones to die for).

I do wish that cafe-style McD's up the street from me had those miniature baguettes and cute tiny jars of jams like the picture shows.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:23 PM

15. Royale with Cheese . . . .

As per Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:38 PM

17. A shitburger by any other name, with

apologies to the Immortal Bard, is still a shitburger . . . .

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Response to Moondog (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:53 PM

19. Ditto. I'd never eat anything from that craphole. nt

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:19 PM

21. Cheese eating surrender monkeys won't be treated like steerage!

We are so much smarter than them. Oh, wait...

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