Cultural Adaptations

Denis Hennequin
Président Directeur Général
  • McDonald's ability to adapt to the demands of French culture has been vital to its tremendous success in France
  • Various menu changes including the product itself or simply the product name (ex. Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese = Royal Cheese)
  • Introduction of several new products original to France, including the Croque McDo (ham & cheese sandwich) and Deluxe Potatoes (an alternative to fries & a personal favorite of this project's author)
  • Uproar over use of hormone-laced beef imported from the United States caused McDonald's to purchase all of its beef from French farms
  • 99.7% of food products used are purchased within the EU
  • 75% of food products purchased within France, making McDonald's an important partner of French agriculture
  • Many McDonald's restaurants in France are located in the center of town, making them a quick and convenient choice for shoppers and by passers
Additional Information:


In 2001, Ronald McDonald was replaced in French advertising by Astérix, "a French comic strip character who stands for Gallic individuality and symbolizes local resistance to imperial forces."
("Delicious Irony" Economist 4-27-02)

"We are upgrading the experience, making McDonald's
a destination restaurant." - Hennequin
This Champs-Elysées McDonald's is similar to nearly half of all other McDonald's restaurants in France in that much attention has been paid to the restaurant's interior design. According to a Toulouse franchisee, these chic interiors are about 20% more expensive than the traditional style.

The Champs-Elysées McDonald's is the most frequented in France

The Briançon McDonald's, located in the heart of ski country, resembles the cozy interior of a ski lodge

Many McDonald's restaurants have been able to avoid criticism by blending their restaurants into the local environment. For example, some restaurants in the Alps "now boast wood-and-stove interiors reminiscent of a chalet." This type of restaurant design creates a friendly atmosphere, allowing for a pleasant meal to be had. ("What's this? The French love McDonald's? Financial Times 1-13-2003)