You may have been under the impression that McDonald’s has already taken over the world. But even though it has already succeeded in introducing the Big Mac to over 120 countries or territories around the globe, it still has a few places left to conquer. Up until now, Vietnam was, perhaps surprisingly, one of those places. But not anymore with the grand opening of Vietnam’s first McDonald’s shop, which also happens to be Vietnam’s first drive-through restaurant and first 24-hour chain store. Opening day proved to be a smashing success with hordes of people flocking to sink their teeth into a juicy burger. Interestingly, due to the prevalence of scooters in Vietnam, the drive-through line was almost completely composed of people driving not cars, but scooters! Join us for a look at some opening day scenes with pictures taken by people who were there.
Vietnam’s first McDonald’s was strategically built in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s most-populated city (even more so than capital Hanoi). Before opening, over 50 members of the staff spent at least seven months training in the Philippines to learn appropriate operational and management skills. Their training must have paid off, because they seemed to handle the chaos of opening day quite efficiently, according to customers who were there.
Additionally, the branch seems to be utilizing new technologies that haven’t caught on yet in other countries to expedite the process of ordering food. For example, customers waiting in line are handed an electronic handheld device on which to place their order before they even reach the counter. Not bad!
As for the menu, the shop will initially stick to the global McDonald’s menu, gradually introducing some specific menu items to cater toward the Vietnamese palate. However, it appears that a few items already on the menu, such as the pork burgers, are already region-specific.
▼Scooters outnumber cars in the drive-through line!
▼ The line on opening day for walk-in customers
▼ Well, how does it taste?
▼ Commemorative “shoving-burgers-into-our-mouths” selfie
▼ Exterior of the first Vietnamese McDonald’s
▼ It wouldn’t be opening day without Ronald McDonald himself making an appearance
▼ Novelty items for sale!
▼ In anticipation of large lines, folks who wanted to sit down inside and eat each had to take a numbered ticket.
▼ Apparently, the wait time to sit down was one hour! Would you have waited that long for fast food?
▼ An interesting notice to all customers: you might show up in a promotional video somewhere halfway across the world!
▼ One Japanese visitor was curious to see if the restaurant would be just as busy at night, so he stopped by at 2 AM.
▼ The menu. A Big Mac in Vietnam costs about the equivalent of 290 yen (US $2.83), compared with 360 yen ($3.52) in Japan.
▼ One of the previously-mentioned handheld devices used to place orders while in line.
▼ There’s even more to look forward to upon the arrival of a McCafe in the near future.
▼ A view of the ground floor. We like the reminder to be frolicsome!
▼ You reach the second level after going up some stairs. Remember that this photo was taken around 2 AM. It’s still pretty crowded!
▼ From this angle the interior actually looks pretty classy! The variation in furniture adds a nice touch.
▼ An open terrace area
▼ Another look at the menu. By the way, all of the beef is imported from Australia.
▼ Vietnamese explanations on the tray sheet
▼ A Big Mac, a Double McPork Deluxe, and a hot apple pie
▼ A McPork, 3 Chicken McWings, and a coffee
▼ Now let’s take a look at the drive-through! Note the scooter symbol on the sign.
▼ A mass of scooters
▼ Keep in mind that this McDonald’s is also the first drive-through restaurant in Vietnam, so many people were confused about the order of how to do things. This graphic explains the process.
▼ Free balloons for kids!
▼ We’re approaching the destination
▼ Getting ready to order
▼ Hmm, can’t recall seeing one of these slips at an overseas drive-through…
▼ Give your order to the staff member and he or she will input it for you.
▼ More ordering
▼ Now we’re pulling up to the cashier
▼ Give your order number to the cashier to pay.
▼ And finally, receive your food!
It’s been said that there are already plans in the works to increase the number of McDonald’s in Vietnam to 100 in upcoming years, so no worries if you don’t live in Ho Chi Minh City!