Iceland is currently one of only a handful of countries around the world with no McDonald’s restaurants. This fraternity includes countries like Algeria, Albania, Ghana, Bolivia, Zimbabwe and North Korea.
“Development plans in Iceland”
There are indications, however, which suggest this might change. While the McDonalds International Franchising website simply states that the company has “no set a firm date for the development of McDonalds restaurants” in countries like Algeria and Zimbabwe, it talks of the possibility of “seeking franchises for markets where we do not have a presence, including Iceland”.
The site talks of “development plans in Iceland”, describing the qualities the company would be looking for in potential franchise holders in Iceland.
“If we proceed with our development plans in Iceland, we will give fair consideration to all candidates and will contact those individuals who best meet the requirements we seek in a franchisee for the first phase of the selection process.”
A spokesman for McDonalds told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that the company looks at a variety of factors when determining whether to open restaurants in new markets or new countries where the company does not have a presence, and that the company has “not made a decision” whether to open restaurants in Iceland.
McDonald’s short lived presence in Iceland 1993-2009
McDonald’s has tried to get a foothold in Iceland, opening a restaurant with great fanfare in 1993. Davíð Oddsson, prime minister of Iceland at the time, ordered and ate the first burger. A total of four restaurants were opened in Iceland. One in downtown Reykjavík, where the café Hressó is currently, one in the Kringlan shopping mall and two drive-through family restaurants by Smáralind mall and Skeifan shopping area.
But for some reason, McDonald’s hamburgers never really caught on, and the restaurant was closed down in 2009.