Countries without McDonald’s 2024

Founded in 1940 in the United States, McDonald’s is a global fast food franchise. Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

In the years that followed, the eatery transformed into a franchise by rebranding itself as a hamburger stand. McDonald’s has grown to become one of the most recognizable brands in the world, in addition to being one of the largest fast food franchises.

McDonald’s—Fast facts about the burger-and-fries mega-franchise

Countries without McDonald's 2022

In 1953, a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, was the first to use the now-iconic golden arches emblem. Ray Kroc started with McDonald’s in 1955 as a franchise agent, and he eventually bought the company out from under the McDonald brothers.

Chicago, Illinois, is home to McDonald’s current global headquarters.

McDonald’s is unrivaled in the number of restaurants it operates. Over 37,000 McDonald’s restaurants may be found in roughly 120 countries. More than 70 million people are regularly served by the network, including its 1.7 million employees.

Franchise royalties and fees, rent (McDonald’s owns the property on which most restaurants are situated and leases it to the franchisee), and food sales from restaurants are all sources of income for McDonald’s.

A $122.9 billion market value is what McDonald’s is worth as of March 2020. McDonald’s reported over $100 billion in system-wide sales and $21.1 billion in consolidated revenues for the entire fiscal year 2019.

McDonald’s has made a name for itself in the fast food industry because of its low prices, lightning-quick service, wide offerings, and clever advertising. The “ba da ba ba ba, I am lovin’ it” McDonald’s commercial jingle is instantly identifiable and well-known over the world.

The famous Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s was the first breakfast item offered by a fast food restaurant. Although the restaurant was losing money for five years before the introduction of its morning menu, this move has proven to be one of McDonald’s most astute business moves in recent memory.

In response to consumer demand, McDonald’s extended its breakfast hours in 2015. McDonald’s sales increased by 5 percent in the first year they offered breakfast around the clock because of this choice.

McDonald’s offers a variety of localized menu options in many of the countries where it is present. In Germany, they provide bratwurst; in the Philippines, McSpaghetti; in Japan, tempura shrimp burgers; and in Singapore, they serve burgers on rice patties.

There are McDonald’s restaurants that sell beer, especially in Europe.

McDonald’s-free countries 

Countries without McDonald's 2022

Many nations still do not have even a single McDonald’s restaurant, although there are more than 39,000 McDonald’s outlets around the globe, with more opening every year. Several factors might account for this discrimination.

McDonald’s does not have enough stable supply chains and infrastructure to function in certain nations. In certain nations, the political climate and the standard of living make it impossible to justify the necessary overhead.

McDonald’s cuisine is considered in certain nations since the national diet differs from the chain’s.

Last but not least, some nations have a bias against having a multinational firm set up shop in their territory for fear of the ensuing competition to local businesses and the introduction of Western consumer culture.

Although, the number of nations without a McDonald’s decreases annually. In 2021, for instance, both Brunei and Tunisia were taken off this list and added to the list of nations with a McDonald’s.

List of countries without a McDonald’s:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • East Timor
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Palau
  • New Guinea, Papua
  • Rwanda
  • Kitts and Nevis, Saint
  • Saint Lucia
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City/Holy See
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

A list of countries that no longer have McDonald’s

Countries without McDonald's 2022

Before the financial crisis of 2009, Iceland was home to three or four McDonald’s outlets, depending on the source. The eateries had to close since the cost of importing the necessary food goods had increased when the country’s currency collapsed.

Though, to be fair, at least one source suggests that it was difficult for McDonald’s to operate in Iceland in the first place due to locals’ dedication to Iceland’s burger brand, the wonderfully titled Hambórgarabllan.

Despite claims contrary to a 2018 New York Post story, McDonald’s Europe has said they have no intentions to return to Iceland.

At one point, Macedonia was home to seven McDonald’s restaurants, but in 2013, the European headquarters of the brand abruptly revoked the franchisees’ permission to operate there.

Since 1977, foreign restaurant franchises have been illegal in Bermuda (the only fast food restaurant on the island is a KFC, which was established before the rule was imposed). Still, in 1985, the government authorized a single McDonald’s to operate on a U.S. military post.

The government used preexisting legislation to guarantee the restaurant’s closure upon the base’s closure in 1995.

While it first launched in Jamaica in 1995, McDonald’s ultimately decided to leave the island in 2005 after failing to significantly impact the industry there.

Despite its best efforts, the only McDonald’s in Barbados failed to win over the country’s poultry- and seafood-loving population and shuttered its doors in 1997. There is presently a financial services company headquartered here.

The only McDonald’s in San Marino operated from 1999 to 2019. However, it finally closed due to increased competition from other fast food establishments.

Bolivia, a nation in South America, was home to a few McDonald’s locations for almost a decade. Still, the locals never took to the “super-fast, but not necessarily super-healthy” menu, and the brand ultimately withdrew.

Even though the official McDonald’s Bolivia Facebook page has been deactivated, rumors remain that the chain will soon return. However, as of late 2021, there was no evidence to support the claims; conflicting sources claim the government has outlawed the franchise.

McDonald’s mobile restaurant is the fast food giant’s first foray into Montenegro. We hear that local rivals fought the chain’s entry into the nation and lobbied (or even bought) the authorities to make it illegal.

In an unprecedented turn of events, however, the Public Relations Bureau of Montenegro issued a press statement in response to the claims, stating categorically that No corporation, not even McDonald’s, is forbidden to conduct business in Montenegro.

Despite its popularity, McDonald’s will not be found in Montenegro in 2021.

Perhaps the most out-of-the-ordinary, non-situations McDonald’s can be found in the region of the Middle East.

It may seem strange that an Iranian restaurant with the name Mash Donalds utilizes a logo and menu items shaped like an M, yet there has never been an official McDonald’s in the country.

Although there has not been a legitimate McDonald’s in Iraq since 1979, there are at least two near-identical knockoffs: MaDonal (whose owner reportedly asked for a McDonald’s license and was turned down) and Matbax.

Also See: Countries that Censor the Internet 2022

Countries that have outlawed McDonald’s

Countries without McDonald's 2022

While most countries without McDonald’s take a neutral stance on the issue, a few countries have gone so far as to outright ban the fast food giant. Typically, this is done to promote regional cuisine and protect public health.

List of Countries where McDonald’s is Illegal:

  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Macedonia
  • North Korea
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

Country2022 Population
DR Congo99010.2120
Ivory Coast28160.5420
North Korea26069.4160
Burkina Faso22673.7620
South Sudan10913.1640
Papua New Guinea10142.6190
Sierra Leone8605.7180
Central African Republic5579.1440
Equatorial Guinea1674.9080
Solomon Islands724.2730
Cape Verde593.1490
Sao Tome and Principe227.3800
Saint Lucia179.8570
Saint Kitts and Nevis47.6570
Marshall Islands41.5690
Vatican City0.5100

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