When my kids were small, McDonald’s was their favorite place to go! They loved the Happy Meals and the playgrounds that are at McDonalds in America. McDonald’s has never particularly been a gourmet place to eat, but it is a cheap place. When I was growing up, my dad always said he liked to eat at chain restaurants because we were always traveling, and if we went to chain restaurants, he knew what to expect. I am sure there are some people who really like McDonald’s food, but as for me, I go there because the people I am with want to go there, so I put up with the food. I have eaten at McDonald’s all over the world, and just a few blocks from our house in Korea, up by EMart, there is a McDonald’s where we eat occasionally. Today we went to McDonald’s for lunch, and there are a few differences between a Korean McDonald’s and an American McDonald’s.
One thing that people who travel and eat at McDonald’s learn is that the food at McDonald’s changes according to which country you are in. When I am in Japan, I like to eat McDonald’s Skiyaki Burgers. I am not a big fan of McDonald’s food, but Skiyaki Burgers are good. Skykyaki is actually a type of Japanese food, and they put some in a hamburger. Here in Korea, they also try to make the local population happy. What to Koreans like? Anyone who knows about Korea knows that Koreans like spicy food. One of the most popular hamburgers among my Korean friends here in Korea is the McSpicy Shanghai Burger. Koreans also like to see the Bulgogi Burger on the McDonald’s menu.
I don’t know if they have these machines in other countries yet, but probably they do. You can order either at the counter or at a machine in the middle of the floor.
These people are perched on high stools without a back that are built into the floor and can’t be moved.
If you are used to sitting at booths at your McDonald’s in America, they don’t have booths in this McDonald’s. They have several kinds of chairs.
We ate up on the second floor because there are always more chairs up there. We had a nice visit as usual. We were on our way to a Bible class, so the time was limited.
Here in Korea, you can’t just go throw your trash away when you are done like you do in America. You are expected to recycle, and the recycling station is completely organized, and they expect you to use it. Recycling is a mandatory thing in Korea everywhere.
Here in Korea, Coffee shops are extremely popular among students. They go there, order a sandwich and a cup of tea and spend the day studying. They use McDonald’s the same way in Korea. I have a friend who just completed his Master’s degree not long ago, and he was always calling me saying, “Let’s eat at McDonald’s, and you can help me with my thesis.” We spent a lot of afternoons after lunch on the second floor of McDonald’s discussing his thesis, giving him good ideas and/or with him typing and me proof reading. He works outside of Seoul now, but likes to call me and say “Let’s eat at McDonald’s again” when he comes to town, and he also loves those McSpicy Shanghai Burgers.
Signs from the drive through.
I have been to several McDonald’s in Korea, and I haven’t seen even one with playground equipment like in the U. S. or Japan. However, they do have a drive through. In Korea, only McDonald’s and Burger King have drive throughs. It is a fairly new concept in Korea. We had a student with us in our car once who doesn’t drive, and we drove through McDonald’s. He was so thrilled! He kept wondering if he could just walk through the drive through because he loved the idea so much! However, their drive through has several flaws. Koreans have a tendency not to listen well when others talk or just to talk to be heard. They often get the order wrong when you go through the drive through.
Korean McDonald’s has something that American McDonald’s and McDonald’s in other countries doesn’t have. Koreans are really into food delivery, and McDonald’s in Korea delivers. McDonald’s doesn’t have to advertise their delivery because they are a very popular restaurant. However, we are always finding fliers taped to the door knob of our apartment from different restaurants advertising their delivery. When we got home today, there was a delivery motor cycle from a Pizza place sitting in our parking lot. If McDonald’s didn’t deliver, they would miss out on a lot of business.
McDonald’s listens to culture where ever they go. We may feel like they don’t have the best food in the world, but it is cheap, and usually edible. You can find some of the old favorites you have from your McDonald’s from your country plus find unique things from the country where you actually are. They have listened here in Korea. They serve shrimp burgers, bulgogi burgers, and spicy burgers. They also recycle and deliver which are both important parts of the Korean culture.