Despite the ongoing grass-root boycott campaign in the Arab world against US goods and services, McDonald's has reported growth in the region with the opening of new stores and the introduction of new menu items.
"We do face challenges, as any successful business does… In the Kingdom (Saudi Arabia) alone, we increased our number of stores by 20 percent in 2002 in accordance with our customer's demand," said Saudi Prince Mishaal.
McDonald's restaurants in the Middle East are independently owned and operated by local businessmen. Since it first started operations in the Middle East, the various McDonald's restaurants have had a significant impact on the local and regional economy. Every new restaurant requires an average investment of around three million Emirati dirhams ($816,771), and creates around 30 new jobs.
In a recent survey of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s informal eat out market (IEO) McDonald’s was rated as the region’s favorite fast food restaurant by market research firm Synovate. Although local entrepreneurs independently own McDonald’s restaurants in Middle East countries, they were collectively rated the region’s favorite restaurant, based on last visit satisfaction, market penetration, and market share.
In light of American support for Israel, popular committees in the Middle East have been calling to widen the boycott against US-made products and services. In Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, bombs have exploded outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Jouineh and a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in the Northern city of Tripoli in the past year — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )