Will McDonald's golden arches turn red?
The fast-food giant disclosed yesterday that it is considering bringing its Big Macs, Quarter-Pounders, shakes and fries to Eastern Europe.
Fred L. Turner, the company's chairman, told a meeting of securities analysts in Chicago yesterday that the company may open a restaurant in Yugoslavia "in the next couple of years." The company also is considering sites in Poland, East Germany and Hungary, he said.
"We've been in discussions with folks in Poland, and we're looking at Yugoslavia," a company spokesman said.
The spokesman was not able to elaborate much on the plans, but he said the restaurants probably would be owned and operated by citizens of the countries.
"If we went into it, it would be with similar arrangements as we have in our own country," he said. "The owners would not be part the state, part McDonald's." The spokesman would not say how the company would go about recruiting prospective franchisees.
At the end of last year, 1,185 of McDonald's 6,739 restaurants were situated overseas in 29 countries and territories, none of them communist. Turner said yesterday the company hopes to have a total of 10,000 restaurants worldwide by the end of the decade, averaging $2 million in annual sales apiece.
There was no word yesterday if the company is considering employing Ronald McDonald behind the Iron Curtain.