Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mmmmm Big Mac

Someone told me an interesting fact the other day and I have been spreading it around merrily since then as I think it’s an interesting, and somewhat disturbing, fact.

Did you know that New Zealand has the second highest density of McDonald’s restaurants per capita, second only to the mighty US itself?

Today at work I shared this fact in the lunch room and one of my colleagues challenged the fact. He reckoned he had read somewhere that NZ had 149 restaurants so how could that possibly compare to the UK or Australia? So…somewhat belatedly I’ll admit, I thought I’d better actually conduct some fact checking. This is what I found.

Thanks as ever to Wikipedia, Fun and NationMaster.McD's Papakura, NZThere are around 31,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. The McDonald’s Corporation was founded in 1955. It’s headquarters is in Tim’s part of the country in Illinois, USA.

McDonalds didn’t arrive in New Zealand until 1976 and today we have 149 restaurants. We have a population of just over  4,200,000 so that’s 1 restaurant for every 28,000 people.  Is that a lot? I had no idea but it did seem like an awful lot to me.

Next I checked out the data for the United Kingdom who surely have more. There are 1,115 restaurants in the UK for a population of 60,975,000. This is 1 restaurant for every 48,000. Crikey NZ has got heaps more than the UK! That’s unexpected.

Next, Australia who absolutely positively must have more than us here. After all they do everything bigger than we do here. There are 730 restaurants in Oz. Now that seems very low, worryingly low. A population of 21,610,000 equates to 1 restaurant for every 29,500 people – bugger! Just less.

Canada has a population of 33,587,000 and 1,154 restaurants or 1 restaurant per 29,000 people. Bugger again!

OK ,so I could keep searching but I think the point is pretty well made. Whether NZ actually does have the second highest per capita saturation, is a moot point as we certainly have heaps. More than the UK, Canada and more than Australia.

Perhaps Japan has heaps?? I can’t be bothered looking sorry.

Again without actually checking, just because I’m tired (and lazy), but I think I’m pretty safe to say that the 13,381 restaurants in the US would certainly make you Clappingguys number 1 even factoring in your massive population.

Congrats to the US and to NZ . Something we could actually do without winning.


  1. I must admit I love their fries. :)

  2. I know what you mean doanli, I have been a Big Mac fan for many years.

  3. People freak out when I say this, but......
    I don't eat fast food.
    I have never been to McD's or Burger King or any of those.
    I guess someone else in the US can have mine?

  4. Interesting facts!
    Here in Canada they have come out with the Big Mac snack wrap. It's basically all the things that are on the burger but rolled inside of a tortilla. I haven't tried it but am thinking I already prefer the bun version.
    Amy xx

  5. Bob that is just unnatural :-)

    Amy I agree that the standard burger version sounds better.

  6. Interesting post, Lou. McDonald's HQ is only a few miles down the tollway from where I live. The very first restaurant is somewhere there, as is their training site, Hamburger University. Not joking either.

    My sister is a big-shot at Micky-D's. She's been employed with them for 25 years, and she's only 40 years old.

  7. Haha do they really call it Hamburger Uni? Thta's hilarious - there's nothing like taking yourself seriously lol

  8. There are 3 McDonald's in the city that I work in. Only one in the town where I live. McDonald's McDonald's Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut. Sorry, it's the fast food song.

  9. I don't eat as much takeaway as my body would suggest. I think it's more to do with lack of exercise and apathy.

    Don't mind the occasional burger tho - if I'm travelling mostly - don't mind the Chicken Salad from Kentucky Duck either.

    Surprising Un Zud is second on the list.

  10. Funny you shoud write this. A couple of your posts back, you posted photos of your were on your way somewhere in the car. What struck me was, in one of them there was a McDonalds. I remember thinking, "wow I hate to see that, McGreasys in pristine, healthy NZ." Sorry to hear this stat. OK, I admit, the fries ARE tasty however. I take cholesterol pills just for McDonalds!

  11. I agree jaded some things are better not imported but NZ really grabbed this one hook line and sinker and we're now paying the price. NZ kids are getting fat too just like American kids and Australian kids. What were we thinking??


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