With a booming middle class population, Vietnam’s future looks bright to international investors, in spite of lingering financial woes and sluggish growth. But there’s one thing the Communist country has been lacking- walking from one end of Ho Chi Minh City to the other, and there was nary a McDonald’s in sight.
That’s all set to change with the launch of the first golden arches in Vietnam later this year, making it the 38th Asia Pacific country on the chain’s roster of international franchises.
Dave Hoffmann, president of McDonald’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, said, “As we grow our presence in the Asia region, we are looking for partners with a blend of strong business acumen and a unique understanding of our brand.”
The American fast food giant said it planned to open in the southern business hub Ho Chi Minh City in early 2014 after making businessman Henry Nguyen its “developmental licensee”.
the time appears ripe for Ronald and friends to set up shop
Mr Nguyen is the son-in-law of the country’s prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung.
Henry, also known as Nguyen Bao Hoang, already knows the ins and out of the fast-food business, having flipped burgers for McDonald’s while growing up in America – where his family fled to in 1975 at the end of the US-led Vietnam war.
In a statement he revealed that he had been dreaming of opening a McDonald’s in his native country ever since he returned ten years ago.
There is a definite appetite for American grease in this South East Asian country. Along with dozens of local chains, KFC, Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut perform a roaring local trade.
The menu will include all the ubiquitous McDonald’s items, including the Big Mac, cheeseburgers and fries. Although the company had been looking to put down roots in Vietnam for around a decade, a lingering resistance to US culture stymied any potential launch. With the gradual encroachment of other bastions of American culture however, the time appears ripe for Ronald and friends to set up shop.