When rather than if is the question about McDonalds market entry in Kenya

RONALD MCDONALD IS HEADING TO KENYA – WILL THE TOURISTS FOLLOW?

For those who earlier this year expressed their interest in climbing on the McDonalds bandwagon and who hoped to bring the world’s best known fast food brand first to the Kenyan capital, perhaps in one of Nairobi’s new supermalls or at the airport’s new Terminal 1A where the food court is still undergoing development, you will probably know early in the news year what and when it will happen. American rivals Kentucky Fried Chicken and Subway beat the food giant to the door with their entry – in KFC’s case re-entry – into the Kenyan market and it seems that Kenya’s standing as an investment destination, ready to support one or several McDonald franchises, has remained intact inspite of the woes the tourism industry has undergone in 2014.

Tourists, when coming to Kenya, might not be the main target group to sell their burgers’ to though some may well be tempted to get a taste from ‘home’ while heading out of the city on safari or taking care of that peckish feeling while waiting for a long flight out of Nairobi. The main target groups for McDonald, as is the case with other fast food restaurants and the recently emerged breed of uppity coffee shops, will however be expatriates working for multinationals in their Nairobi offices and of course the Kenyan middle class whose disposable income will allow them to eat out more, or order takeaways to suit a changing lifestyle.

Should the brand indeed, as is expected, set up shop in Kenya next year it might also be a signal for reluctant tourists to reconsider their travel decisions and come to the country for a vacation, with one more familiar brand sign, the mighty yellow arch, giving comfort and perhaps confidence that they made the right choice.

How about a safari with a burger in hand? Anyone? Soon available in Kenya – is my best guess!

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