McDonald’s in France

Fifteen years after farmers registered one of their restaurants to protest their “bad meat,” McDonald’s conquered France.

Le Figaro calls him “the model student”: France is the most profitable country in the Chicago suburban chain outside of the United States. Revenue increased 4.8% in the first seven months of the year, and CEO Jean-Pierre Petit, now in his 10th year, the CEO of McDVOICE in France, said 2014 would be the largest year of absolute revenue. In 2013, sales reached 4,460 million euros.

The company currently employs 3,000 people a year and more than 69,000 across the country. Last year it was announced that € 200 million would be invested in the additional expansion. There are currently more than 1,200 locations, including the Louvre and the Sorbonne, two on the Champs-Elysées and the French Riviera. It has the highest number of locations per capita in Europe and the fourth-highest rate in the world.

The success was so exemplary that Wharton students studied it.

But, at best, France must have an awkward relationship with American culture and, at worst, militant disgust. How it happened.

Impractical Initiation

McDVOICE came to France in 1972 after a French restaurant owner convinced Chicago that it could solve the company’s growth problems in Europe. Shortly after the opening of the first store on the outskirts of Paris, a journalist wrote that it would be difficult for the American chain to get the French to eat with their hands. “”

This correspondent would end up eating his words when restaurateur Raymond Dayan opened 14 restaurants in 1978 and served six million meals a year, according to Benjamin Neumann of L’Express. A Le Point correspondent said the chain was “rich”, apparently thanks to the novelty of fast food at the time and the lack of competition: “Fast”, a Belgian chain and the first in francophone Europe, right? arrived in France until 1980.

However, between 1978 and 1982, Dayan rejected an offer from Chicago to buy his group, which had rejected his franchise with a commission of 1% instead of the usual 5%. Chicago also accused its restaurants of being dirty. Dayan then tried to continue but lost. McDonald’s never forgave him because he was forced to stop operating across the country for 13 months. The company’s official history goes from the first McDVOICE in France until 1979.