McDonald’s in Ubon Ratchatani… or not?


I love McDonalds.

I love their attention to detail. I love their franchise record, I love their marketing. I mean 47 million customers each day, 22.8 billion dollars in revenue just in 2007, over 31,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1.5 million people – truly amazing figures.

Shame that I HATE their food and won’t eat there!

For anyone in the restaurant game that sort of growth and amazing record has to be admired. I love reading about these sort of business so if anyone wants to send me for my upcoming birthday the autobiography of either the original McDonald’s brothers or/and Ray Kroc (the man who took the business to a new stratosphere) I would love you for ever!

There has been a bit of talk on the blogs and websites of ex pats living in Ubon recently about McDonald’s opening up at the Sunee hotel/ city mall complex. From a personal point of view I don’t think it is a good idea as the children of wealthy Thai parents seem to already have a major weight issue due to expendable income and a love affair of anything foreign. For foreigners I thing the food is awful and there are so many healthier and cheaper Thai options available. From a business point of view I don’t think it will affect us as we are catering to a totally different market but I guess if they also opened a McCafe then that would have to affect us in someway.

Not that I need to worry as a few days ago I was talking to a person in management who controls the food hall / food outlets part of the complex who assured me that McDonald’s is not opening. Of course this is Thailand and that can be open for interpretation but at this stage I believe it.

*Edit May 10, 2012* Almost three years since writing this I am afraid to say that McDonald’s in Ubon Ratchathani will soon become a reality. Click here (and read the update at the bottom) for more information.

*Edit Jan 15, 2012* McDonalds opened in December 2012. I have not been so have no idea what it is like but I have hear many bad reports about the quality control of their food. One day I may visit but only to try the coffee.

8 responses to “McDonald’s in Ubon Ratchatani… or not?

  1. Memock, I quite worrying about what other people eat and how fat their little kids are, and how healthy or not healthy they are , its all a part of living and enjoying ones self and there are so many other things in this world and everyday living , to worry about than, what they(others) are eating, worry about you and your’s and let the rest of the folks in this world eat what they want to eat. In fact a lot of folks that would say that all the sweet tarts and pies and cakes that you bake and sell at your place, are bad for you too,( all that white devil called sugar, but good for your bussiness so you sell them .
    I say TO EACH HIS OWN , and you may not like Mc’y D’s but 47 milliom people a day do and OH to have one of them franchise, and really who cares what the wealthy Thais feed their ,LITTLE FAT , SPOILED ,kids .Mc Donald’s I’M LOVING IT .
    This is Thailand and some things are different I know, as it relates to bussiness, In Thailand if you have a good bussiness going , Wait 2 or 3 months and some Thai will build the exact same kind of bussiness right down the street, happens all the time, everywhere in Thailand. And it can happen anywhere and does, In America , a friend built up a great burger bussiness called Captian America , for one year he could not cook food fast enough , then Mc Donalds built 2 blocks away, the day they opened my friend never sold another burger True Story.
    By the way , I know the restaurant bussiness , I Managed a Sizzler , for 20 years and had my own for a few , THE BACK DOOR EATERY. Owning my own almost killed me, all the hours and worry , I felt like I was married to it , So after a heart attack and triple by-pass I sold it and went back to letting Sizzler do all the worrying.

    MeMock replied “Wow, Malcolm, quite an rambling comment comment covering many different things – I’M LOVING IT 🙂

    Yep, you are right about me not liking the food but as I said I respect the business idea and brains behind it. Who cares if obese kids are eating Micky D’s every day? Well actually I do and I am surprised that you don’t. The problem is education regarding these types of fast food shops as many people around the world (but more so in SE Asia) do not understand the rubbish that goes into their food. Now I too make and sell a hamburger but it is a home made pattie with nothing but 100% beef and other natural ingredients. It goes between a home made bun with no sugar or other additives added to it at all etc etc – I could go on but wont. Now whilst it is not the healthiest type of food going around it is way better for you then what McDonalds serve up. As for my cake, Thais seem to be educated about it and realise that it needs to be eaten in moderation otherwise you will get fat.
    As for Thais copying business, yes I fully understand this and expect it to happen. Imitation is the best form of flattery they say but they could never copy my customer service which is what sets us apart so I am not worries.
    I bet you have some interesting stories from your 20 years at sizzlers and I look forward to hearing them one day. Stories that I hope I never get to tell!”

    P.S I just saw this story online from my home state in Australia.

    “POLICE are seeking witnesses to an incident outside the Mirrabooka McDonald’s restaurant on Saturday in which a man’s ear was bitten off.

    During the incident, which happened about 4.20am, a 30-year-old man from Kalgoorlie had a large portion of his right ear bitten off.

    A 29-year-old man from Noranda has been charged with grievous bodily harm and is to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on August 4.”

    You see – people would rather eat human ear then cardboard boxes :)-

  2. Andrew,
    Strange but I haven’t heard about Mcie Dees coming to Sunee. I haven’t read on any blogs or sites except this one.
    At McD’s you can eat healthy or not. There is a selection so sometimes it is between healthy and pleasing our senses.
    It is right to be concerned about the health of the children. But do not blame Mcie Dee. If you go to any school here in Ubon when it is time for class to be dismissed for the day outside the gates you will see nothing but junk food for sale.

    Those vendors do quite to business and it is all children. The food is quick and tastes great but what is it? The look chin is a good percentage fat and many of the other snacks are heavy on the sugar.

    After living here and visiting since 1994 I have come to believe that fast food was not invented in USA as I often read. It was invented in places like Thailand just a different venue. Sidewalks and markets all offer fast foods, people walk order food sit down and eat. Ride motorcycles up, sit down and eat. How many times are trucks or cars blocking traffic lanes because they made a street vendor a drive-thru restaurant.

    A few years back McD did a test at Big C. They set up a trailer in the parking lot. I think it was there maybe 3 months. It was obviously a market test. They were never seen or heard from again. Also the recent demise of Starbucks might be evidence that Ubon isn’t open to this service.

    MeMock replied “It was just yesterday that I was saying the same thing to a visiting friend Darwin about the Thai street food that is sold outside schools etc, terrible stuff mostly. Regarding the rumours about Maccas coming, I remember reading it here plus at least one other place.”

  3. Funny that you have this blog article. McD opened their 1st restaurant in Udonthani, where i live, on Dec 2009. even though we already have other western franchises, the opening of McD prompted me to tell my wife that we are moving to the mountain, as far away from the McD as possible. when home i pass this McD everyday and it seems to be very popular with the locals, even though a basic hamburger cost almost twice as much as a mee dish from a hawker vendor. beats me….

  4. I see the last comment was posted a while back so here goes… Is or isn’t there a Mickey D in Ubon Ratchatani? I might move down there and call me a food and culture barbarian but “I’m just loving it”, I saw a KFC there during a quick stop but KFC blows, Burger King is too much too ask and I see Mickey D almost everywhere except in Ubon.

    Can anyone give me the heads up?

    • A food barbarian? You must be! With some electro shock therapy though I am sure you can be cured! There still is not a Maccas in Ubon….. yet. There is a massive amount of talk though of a central being opened soon and would have to assume that when that happens you and others will be ‘loving it’.

  5. Pingback: Central Mall, Big C and McDonald’s in Ubon Ratchathani | Family life in rural Thailand & Australia

  6. It looks like the inevitable is happening, McDonald’s is coming to Ubon!

  7. New update just added.

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