McDonald's restaurant to close all locations in Iceland

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

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Icelandic advertisement for El Maco (Big Mac)
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McDonald's, the international fast food restaurant chain, will cease all operations in Iceland by the end of October.

The company blames the closure of the nation's three outlets on drastically increased costs of importing its food ingredients, which mainly came from Germany. McDonald's corporation says the current economic slump is to blame for rising costs, along with the "unique operational complexity" of keeping them open.

The restaurant, with its distinctive Golden Arches, began its Icelandic operations in 1993. Its outlets were operated by Lyst, a franchising company owned by Jon Gardar Ogmundsson. There are no plans to reopen any of the locations.

"[Stores have] never been this busy before... but at the same time profits have never been lower. It just makes no sense. For a kilo[gram] of onion[s], imported from Germany, I'm paying the equivalent of a bottle of good whisky," said one Gardar Ogmundsson, the owner of the firm Lyst, to the BBC.

Lyst hopes to operate a new chain of restaurants, which will be supplied by domestic rather than imported food products.

McDonald's, which operates in 119 countries globally, previously closed its sole retail outlet in Barbados in 1996 after only six months in operation, and withdrew from an additional seven countries in 2000 — including Bolivia — to reduce costs.


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