Ronald McDonald in Thailand

History of McDonald’s in Thailand

Ronald McDonald really knows how to blend into different cultures. In America you will see him at McDonald’s branches throughout the country waving a friendly “hello” according to American custom. In Thailand, Ronald is a culturally aware company mascot and instead of his hallmark wave gives a very Thai “wai” instead.


Although I don’t make it a habit of going to McDonald’s and try to avoid fast food joints as much as possible, many tourists might enjoy “a taste of home” while in the Land of Smiles. Compared to Thai food, McDonald’s is a bit expensive and other fast food franchises such as KFC are more popular with the Thai people. However, you do see quite a few McDonald’s around and there are over 100 locations in Thailand. Many people find it a convient place to meet and the younger crowd like to hang out and eat there.

The average cost of a meal at McDonalds is around 80-100 baht. Every item on the menu is a bit shrunken in size compared to the American version, which is more than you really need. Some items are very cheap like sodas, floats, cones, sundaes and pies (9-19 baht). The burgers cost 19 baht and up. The Thai McDonald’s menu offers the Pork Burger, Samuri Pork Burger, Spicy McD, and McFish, in addition to the normal cheeseburger, hamburger, McNuggets and BigMac. Of course, for the kids you have the Happy Meal and typical McDonald’s toys that children as well as adults like to collect.

Definitely missing in Thailand is the McDonald’s breakfast menu. One could argue that the Western style breakfast items would not move to the Thais, but Burger King offers their breakfast menu all day. Another theory is that the morning versus non-morning setup would be different for teh kitchen to deal with and so they eliminate this problem altogether by not serving breakfast period. Perhaps it is for the best as nobody needs to be eating greasy hashbrowns and sweet sasuage McMuffins.

Another difference between the US and Thai McDonald’s is the avaliability of delivery. This makes sense when you consider the traffic in Bangkok and must really increase sales for those people who are craving some McDonald’s but don’t want to worry about driving there and back. Talk about adapting to a country in order to sell your product. McDonald’s is one company that is slowly infiltrating into every corner of the globe.

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