McDonalds | Việt Nam
Vietnam’s first McDonald’s officially opened for business on the 8th February 2014. Amid thumping techno music and live performances, hundreds of people lined up from 8am to be the first to sample McDonald’s food. Located in District 1 this McDonald’s branch has a 24hr drive thru service uniquely catering for Vietnam’s motorbike culture. Over the opening weekend it was estimated that over 20 thousand customers passed through their doors. Henry Nguyen the Vietnamese American son-in-law of the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is the developmental licensee for Vietnam. Harvard educated Henry flipped burgers when he was a student in the states and had always dreamed of opening a McDonald’s in his native country. CEO of McDonald’s Don Thompson flew in from Sochi – The Winter Olympics (which McDonald’s were sponsoring) to officially open the restaurant.
For most Vietnamese going to an international branded eatery like McDonald’s is an aspirational experience, the ability to eat at a McDonald’s or KFC is a status symbol. The average salary in Vietnam is US$150, the Big Mac costs US$2.82 and the value meal is US$3.99. Last year Vietnam relaxed its investment restrictions, since then it has seen big brands like Burger King and Starbucks come into Vietnam.
Obesity rates are ballooning in Vietnam’s big cities as malnourishment persists in the provinces. According to Professor Le Thi Hop from the National Nutrition Institute “Vietnam is one of 20 countries reporting the highest proportion of underweight children in the world. Meanwhile, about 1.2 million children here suffer from obesity,” According to a study released at the conference, the number of obese children under five in HCMC has increased three-fold over the past decade from 3.7 percent in 2000 to 11.5 percent in 2013.