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Why There’s No McDonald’s in Kenya, Yet.

It puzzles me that despite having numerous American fast food chains established and successful in Kenya, the biggest and most iconic one isn’t here yet and there are no plans or rumors of them coming here yet, so what could it be?

Time for the golden arcs of McDowell’s to shine isn’t coming anytime soon.

The rival chains already in Kenya include KFC, Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Subways, Coldstone, and Burger King, and with more on the way, KFC is the most successful one yet expanding through every Nairobi neighborhood and even currently establishing on main towns like Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kakamega, Machakos and so on.

McDonald's Items

The main reason is that African countries like Kenya struggle to get McDonald’s because of difficulties in tracing its supply chain. For instance, in Ghana, McDonald’s gave them a rain check citing low disposable income. And back in ’99, Zimbabwe got stood up altogether.

Unlike in developed countries where fast food is just a basic meal in Kenya for instance it is like a luxury, and there isn’t enough disposable income from the population.

Still, hey KFC is already doing great and it’s not like McDonald’s is more expensive, I guess it is company policy among other things to consider.

So Where is McDonald’s in Africa?

So, where is McDonald’s in Africa anyway? Get this, out of 55 countries, they’ve only set up shop in four.

South Africa’s got a whopping 400 stores, Egypt’s got 120, Morocco’s got 80 joints, and Mauritius is chilling with 6.

And when they do decide to bless a country with their presence, they go big or go home with multiple outlets. What you can notice is McDonald’s can’t just open a handful of stores in a country, it justifies a number of them to officially launch, other fast food chains like Papa John’s launched in Kenya with just one location, and are set to expand later on

Now, why the hesitancy in Kenya? Maybe McDonald’s is still mulling over the idea, doing some market research, you know, checking the vibe. I mean, it’s understandable that they’re cautious.

So maybe McDonald’s is doing a feasibility study for several restaurants and that is probably why it seems Kenya does not fit yet.

I mean it makes sense that there’s McDonald’s in South Africa since it is the most developed country in Africa and Morocco. On the basis of population or density, Nigeria should have had locations, I expected the most locations to be in Nigeria anyway, kinda surprised to not see Nigeria with thousands of locations regarding population, and relative purchasing power

Also considering most of the African locations were opened in the 1990s, in existing countries, I don’t think MC Donalds is ready for Kenya yet, their criteria for considering countries to launch in isn’t that straightforward.

Meanwhile, we will continue enjoying KFC here which tastes way better than outlets in the US

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