It’s here, the day you thought would never come: McDonald’s has landed in Hanoi. Bearing civilization and the word of God, Ronald McDonald has set up his shrine next to Hoan Kiem Lake, in the heart of the capital, and has hired dedicated minions to flip burgers and serve fries.
Probably the most anticipated fast food event to happen in Hanoi since KFC came to town in 2006 (a whopping nine years after its first branch in Ho Chi Minh City), McDonald’s opening on the Dec. 2 sticks to the capital’s habit of stubbornly not allowing western franchises to open here until they’re normalized elsewhere in the country.
It started with large billboards and posters around town telling the Hanoi populace that McDonald’s was hiring. Applicants sought after to work in Hanoi’s latest dating hotspot would have been between 18 to 35 years of age, would have considered themselves ‘hip’ and while not necessary, would have previous experience in toting capitalist slogans and working as a cog on a production line.
Change of Pace
The fast food giant’s opening came a few weeks after world leaders descended on Vietnam, making trade and business deals, and promising investment. The poster child for capitalism, Ronald McDonald’s appearance in Hanoi at this time is a sign of changing times.
Hanoi is caving in to openness and jumping on to the bandwagon of developed cities around the world, filling its streets with fat-soaked, fast-served salty foodstuffs.
Vietnamese people are generally considered to be comparatively slim compared to their western brothers and sisters, but with all this fast food coming to town, we’ll see how far those genes go before those jeans go.
PHOTO OF MCDONALD'S IN SAIGON BY BAO ZOAN
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