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Thread: American chains overseas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    American chains overseas

    I've only been overseas once (Athens, Istanbul), but I'm guessing this holds true in many places. I HATE seeing a McDonald's or Wendys, etc in a foreign country. It's revolting enough that we have fast food every 1/4 mile here, but I find it quite disappointing to see that we've spread this stuff across the globe. I want to go to a foreign country to experience a different culture with different sights. It's just a shock to the system to see a Wendy's in the Plaka in Athens (amid all taht history). Something just not right about it...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    They have Wendy's in Europe? I can't recall seeing any when I was overthere last year. Of course McDonalds, pronounced MacDonalds, by the British is prominent over there, as is Burger King. Subway, which has the most locations of any restaurant worldwide, can be found over there too. Pizza Hut has a bunch of locations in Britain as well. I think I got food poisoning from one in Bath.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    ...and its not like they serve the same food either. Pizza Hut in London is aweful by our standards. *BLECH*

  4. #4
    maudit anglais
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    You would deny the good citizens of Athens the right to buy a Royale with Cheese?

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I was reading a "trip report" on Airliners.net, which showed an A&W in the food court of an airport in Qatar. Talk about odd..
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    All I know is that the French are crazy about McDonalds. Why not? You can wash down your Royale with cheese with a beer. When I was there I thought it was the greatest thing in the world to be able to sit on the patio and drink a few beers.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    ...and its not like they serve the same food either. Pizza Hut in London is aweful by our standards. *BLECH*
    Well its alot better than any of the pizza made by independent places, at least what I had.

  8. #8
    When in Caracas last month, we saw one of the biggest (two story), fanciest McDonalds' we'd ever seen. It also had what seemed to be a separate section called "Cafe McDonalds." Not sure what that was, as we didn't go in.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    In addition to food chains, there are some Walmarts and Sam's Clubs overseas. Welcome fast food and big box! Two of America's finest exports.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Oh.... McD's... how I hate thee...Ok... it's not just Mc Donald's, but they're like the poster boy for disgusting fast food chains...
    The only fast food chain I stand is Dunkin Donuts... and I'm glad there's a few stores in Santiago where I can get my donut fix

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I have to admit that one of the four or five times I've been to Europe, I did stop in an American Fast Food chain... Burger King. It was Madrid, it was REALLY hot and Europeans have no concept of iced soda. Warm milk I can deal with, warm soda... yech. So at Burger King on a grand boulevard in Madrid I got a large diet pepsi with ice for the first time in weeks, and it was like heaven. Anyone that has had a long running diet pepsi addiction would understand the mental anguish that would drive one to seek a fast food joint in Europe.

    I soon after found out that they sold beer in the soda machines in Spain, so I just opted for beer from then on out.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I guess they do not offend me too much. My experience with them was in Saudi Arabia during GWI. They were a welcome sight (and taste) to a slightly homesick soldier wanting to eat normal food once in a while.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  13. #13
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi
    In addition to food chains, there are some Walmarts and Sam's Clubs overseas. Welcome fast food and big box! Two of America's finest exports.
    If you count covert operations, there are tons of them. The British supermarket ASDA is now Wal*Mart in disguise.

  14. #14
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    ...and its not like they serve the same food either. Pizza Hut in London is aweful by our standards. *BLECH*
    I wouldn't be surprised if KFC was better outside the UK too. The urban legend is that the EU passed a directive telling them they were no longer allowed to call themselves Kentucky Fried Chicken as their food didn't contain enough chicken.

    Anyway, the differences between countries in fast food can be very notable. The quality of McDo's in France is infinitely better than in the UK.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jimi_d
    The urban legend is that the EU passed a directive telling them they were no longer allowed to call themselves Kentucky Fried Chicken as their food didn't contain enough chicken.
    That's the story this side of the pond as well.

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    How about foreign chains you want to see in the US? Tim Hortons (Canada) is in a few places, and Swiss Chalet (Canada) has a location in Buffalo. Pollo Campero (Guatemala) has a few stores in LA, as does Jollibee (Philippines). There's a few stray Auchan (France) hypermarkets in Houston.

    Nando's is a South African chicken chain with some outlets in Canada and the UK, and the food is supposedly pretty good. Wouldn't want to see Wimpy in the US, though; they're supposedly foul.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Aldi's, the discount grocer, is actually a German chain.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    How about foreign chains you want to see in the US? Tim Hortons (Canada) is in a few places, and Swiss Chalet (Canada) has a location in Buffalo. Pollo Campero (Guatemala) has a few stores in LA as does Jollibee (Philippines). There's a few stray Auchan (France) hypermarkets in Houston.

    Nando's is a South African chicken chain with some outlets in Canada and the UK, and the food is supposedly pretty good. Wouldn't want to see Wimpy in the US, though; they're supposedly foul.
    Aldi (the closely-held German deep-discount grocer) has stores all over the midwestern and eastern USA, including two here in Appleton. From what I have seen and heard, some of their stuff is actually pretty good.

    Mike

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Aldi seems to have picked up a stigma for being where "those people" shop. I am guilty of that myself, sometimes. When Alsi proposed to build the city I worked for, my first reaction was, "But we don't even have public transit near that site...."

  20. #20
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Nando's is a South African chicken chain with some outlets in Canada and the UK, and the food is supposedly pretty good. Wouldn't want to see Wimpy in the US, though; they're supposedly foul.
    Nando's is excellent. The one problem is their branch in the Birmingham Bull Ring is way too small! As for Wimpy, they aren't as bad as they used to be - I still prefer Burger King though.

  21. #21
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Aldi seems to have picked up a stigma for being where "those people" shop. I am guilty of that myself, sometimes. When Alsi proposed to build the city I worked for, my first reaction was, "But we don't even have public transit near that site...."
    We have tons of Aldis over here. And Lidls. They don't get a reputation for being where "those people" shop because normal British supermarkets are just as dire (KwikSave, Tesco, Gateway (who changed their name to something immemorable because they were renowned for being rubbish), ASDA, Safeway/Morrisons etc). Instead, shops seem to get reputations for being expensive places where "nice" people shop, eg M&S and Waitrose.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    The military has its own version of "Travel the world and eat the same crap everywhere you go just so you feel At Home". Most foodcourts on military bases that I have been to have a Popeye's Chicken, an oriental place that I can't rembember the name of, a sandwich shop that I can't remember the name of, a pizza by the slice place that I can't remember the name of, etc. And Burger King is on a lot of bases. This is true even overseas. Where we were stationed in Germany, I often ate at Burger King because it was the ONLY fast food place on base (so they took American money). The McDonald's was across the street from the other Kaserne but they took German Marks. A month before I returned to the U.S., a Popeye's opened on base. (And people were so excited to see something different from Burger King, there were long lines that entire first month.)

    Frankly, I always traveled with my kids (who are hard to feed) and I have many food limitations that makes it stressful and problematic to try new foods. So, for me, having access to something familiar makes it much easier to travel. I understand folks' negative reactions but I think people travel a lot more these days in part because you can take Amerian Express Traveler's Checks so many places, you can duck into an American fast food place when you can't take another meal of Mystery Meat, etc.

    What comes to mind is a scene from the "Myth Adventures" series where Skeeve and that female assassin are dimension hopping and he doesn't eat anything for a few days because he is so grossed out by the fare being offered. She goes "Oh, I thought you were just on some weird diet." and then they arrange to travel to a dimension with food that is more 'normal' to him so he can eat something.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Future Planner's avatar
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    I was in the military and traveled around the Middle East, Asia, and Indonesia. Our crap is everywhere (McDs, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.). I think there are actually more McD in Japan than here, like every two or three blocks in Tokyo. It's crazy how we export our crappy, unhealthy eating habits and we actually alter their diets and lifestyles.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Future Planner
    It's crazy how we export our crappy, unhealthy eating habits and we actually alter their diets and lifestyles.
    Chubby chilean kids love you for exporting Mc D's and making them eat compusively there and being laughed at in their schools for being chubby... (sorry chubby kids)

  25. #25
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Chubby chilean kids love you for exporting Mc D's and making them eat compusively there and being laughed at in their schools for being chubby... (sorry chubby kids)
    McDonalds in Chile?



    Tu comes? (I apologize for my bad Spanish)

    Personally, I don't think it's fast food that's making us fat; after all, it's been around since the 1960s. It's the fast food that isn't burned off by exercise or physical activity that causes weight gain.

    Calories consumed > calories burned = weight gain. Simple formula.

    Back on topic - there really aren't any barriers preventing foreign chains from entering the U.S. market. Witness Ikea. I don't know why there are no Harvey's restaurants south of the Canadian border, or Boots drug stores on this side of the Atlantic, but legally there's nothing stopping them.

    Ever notice that American chains in Canada always incorporate a maple leaf in the logo somewhere? I don't think this is done for branches in other countries.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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