McDonald’s failed in these countries and had to leave, here’s why

McDonald’s is among one of the world’s richest and largest franchises. Even then, it has not been able to be successful everywhere in the world. Here are some countries where it failed.

McDonald’s failed in these countries and had to leave: Here’s why
© Robert Alexander
McDonald’s failed in these countries and had to leave: Here’s why

Business Insider reported earlier this year thatMcDonald’s U.S. franchises have been raking in a record amount of moneywith average cash flows exceeding $500,000 per unit, which is a staggering increase of $125,000 from the past year.

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The same trend has been seen in several other countries with McDonald’s franchises with its total annual revenues reaching $23.2 billion. But believe it or not, the success story of McDonald’s is not true for all countries. As reported by World Population Review, here are some of the countries where McDonald’s failed to establish themselves:


Iceland was home to a couple of McDonald’s restaurants but these had to be closed in 2019, after the country's financial crisis. All the ingredients for McDonald’s needs to be imported according to the company’s regulation. According to Iceland Review, the collapse of Iceland’s currency at that point led to the import of meat, cheese, vegetables and other products, necessary for McDonald’s, becoming so expensive that the franchises could not withstand the financial burden and had to close.

Newer McDonald’s restaurants have not opened in Iceland since.

McDonald's failed in some countries due to there being different food preferences locally  Maskot


In 1995, McDonald’s restaurants first opened in Jamaica but could barely survive for a decade and had to leave in 2005. The main reason for McDonald’s inability to last here was due to differing local food preferences and the competition from local food joints.

Also, with Jamaicans preferring their traditional chicken and seafood over burgers, McDonald’s did not have any chances of long-term survival here.


Another country where McDonald’s did not work due to similar reasons is Bolivia. According to AP News, McDonald’s went against everything that the cultural ethos and local cuisine stands for, which includes valuing high quality produce and the time it takes to prepare a good meal.

This is why McDonald’s shut shop in Bolivia in 2002.

McDonald's had to close in some countries due to legal and economic issues Future Publishing /


Interestingly, in the case of Bermuda, McDonald’s does not exist here because the country had outlawed foreign franchises altogether in 1977.

There was a single McDonald’s on a US military base that was still allowed to operate as an exception. However, when this base closed in 1995, there wasn't another McDonald’s that was ever allowed to reopen ever again.

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