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​France's Fast-Food Landscape: McDonald's and Burger King Lead the Charge

​France's Fast-Food Landscape: McDonald's and Burger King Lead the Charge

Posted by Emma on 6th Dec 2023

In France, the expansion of McDonald's and Burger King often stirs controversy, as seen in the protests against new outlets in Paris and the Haute-Garonne region. Despite local opposition, these global chains frequently succeed, illustrated by McDonald's successful establishment in the Hautes-Pyrénées region.

Paris 06 2012 Mc Donalds 3257 Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

McDonald's, leading the fast-food industry, continues its gradual expansion across France, opening 25 to 30 new locations annually. Presently, it operates around 1,560 outlets nationwide. By adapting its menu to include local variations and sourcing from French suppliers, McDonald's French subsidiary has achieved remarkable success, boasting sales of €6.1 billion in 2022.

Following McDonald's, Burger King reported €1.55 billion in sales in 2022. Revitalised under Groupe Bertrand in 2013 and further bolstered by acquiring Quick outlets, Burger King now operates approximately 500 locations in France.

These American chains have significantly influenced French dining habits, popularising burgers even in traditional restaurants. Bernard Boutboul of Gira Conseil notes that France consumes 1.7 billion burgers annually, making it Europe's second-largest burger market. However, experts like François Blouin of Food Service Vision warn of a potential market saturation.

The success of these giants has paved the way for other fast-food chains in France. O'Tacos, for instance, has seen remarkable success, surpassing the sales of Le Duff's Brioche Dorée. The French fast-food market, valued at €14 billion, continues to diversify with offerings like bubble teas, poke bowls, and sushi.

Burger King Colomiers Kuremu Sakura, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Foreign brands like Itsu and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen are also entering the French market. Krispy Kreme is set to open its first Parisian outlet at Les Halles on December 6.

Amidst inflation, these chains must consider the budgetary constraints of French consumers. McDonald's response is its McSmart menu, offering four products for €5, as a competitive strategy.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this evolving fast-food landscape in France. Please share your comments below!