Fascinating article out on the Motley Fool yesterday. Written by a trio of students from Wharton, the paper chronicles in detail how McDonald's managed to succeed in France in spite of initial push-back from French society in general.
McDonald's now boasts more than 1,200 restaurants in France, they say, where it has become the company's second most profitable market in the globe. The company has opened 30 restaurants in the country in the past five years alone. All this while Burger King falters there.
So what's Ronald's secret according to the report?
Apparently it's as simple as paying attention to what the French eat and serving them what they like. In 1995, instead of just importing good ol' American cheese, they started using chevre, cantal, and bleu. They'll soon be introducing a baguette bread roll since the French eat more baguette-based sandwiches than burgers. They've even offered their “le Big Mac” with a whole-wheat-bun option and opened a new concept store called McSalad to cater to healthier French appetites.
The report also notes that most French McDonald's don't look like McDonald's. They use more subdued signage so as not to offend. Inside, they emulate Starbucks more than anything. Comfy chairs, nice art and Wi-Fi encourage French customers to linger. There's even table-side service for people to put in orders for more coffee or dessert.
It all seems to be working, the paper said: The average tab of a French McDonald's customer? $15 US–four times what we spend on average.
To read the whole article, click HERE.