Monday, January 31, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF I-DID-NOT-KNOW-THAT: McDonald’s Trounced in China . . . by KFC

From Bloomberg a couple of days ago:
In its home market, the U.S., KFC is struggling, an also- ran to McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant company, and feuding with some of its own franchisees over how to halt declining profits.
In China, KFC has achieved such dominance over McDonald’s and local rivals that Colonel Harland Sanders’s image is a far more common sight in many Chinese cities than that of Mao. That accomplishment is striking in a country where foreign companies often stumbled and ran into roadblocks in the past.
The secret to the success of KFC’s parent company, Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum! Brands Inc., can be traced to its use of local ingredients -- both in its management team and on its menus. In the 24 years it has been operating in China, Yum has hired Chinese managers to build partnerships with local companies in its expansion drive and used their expertise to offer an array of regional dishes that appeal to domestic tastes.
Hmm! We did not know that.


  1. McDonald's also adjusts their ingredients and menu in China, and so does Taco Bell. The only thing that seemed familiar to me at McDonald's China was the Big Mac and fries.

    Taco Bell had almost nothing to do with the Taco Bell back home. I thought the food was awful, but the place was pretty busy. Also, Taco Bell is a nice sit-down restaurant there.

    I live in Vietnam, and KFC is all over Saigon. It is very popular and most stores are very busy. There is no McDonald's, but we just got a Carl's Jr., which is also quite busy with foreigners and some Vietnamese. It is rather expensive, though. We've also got a couple of busy Pizza Hut stores, too.

    The KFC menu is different than the American menu, but they still have original style and crispy. Interestingly, crispy style and dark meat are strongly preferred by the Vietnamese. There's some other strange items on the menu that please the local market--an "apple pie" with a bean curd filling, a pho style soup, things like that. Oh, and the price is still high for a lot of Vietnamese, but cheaper than it is in the U.S.

    I think the bottom line for the success is that people here just like chicken more than they like hamburgers. Hamburgers are a clearly foreign food, but chicken is chicken.

  2. >In its home market, the U.S., KFC is struggling, an also- ran to McDonald’s Corp.

    Damn Right! I be lined up 8 cars deep at the Mcie D's drive through every day bitches. I'm lovin' it.


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