Learn Why McDonald’s Failed in Bolivia
There are over 36,000 McDonald’s locations all over the planet, and the chain is on every continent except Antarctica. In South America alone, there are over 1,400 stores. But there is one Latin American country that flat out rejected Big Macs and McNuggets: Bolivia.
Learn, why the American fast food chain had to pull back from the Bolivian market after five years. The first Bolivian McDonald’s location opened its doors to the public in 1997 in the city of La Paz. It was met with a lot of hype.
“When McDonald’s first opened in Bolivia — I remember there were people waiting hours in line and in the drive thru to get to try McDonald’s for the first time.” By 1999 the American fast food chain had 6 stores in the country. Its menu was tailored to reflect Bolivian tastebuds. The fast food chain offered things like “llajua” – a Bolivian hot sauce that was made out of tomatoes and locotos hot chili peppers. There was a tea made from coca leaves.
McDonald’s even tried to introduce the “McSaltenas” which was a spin on a traditional Bolivian dish known as the “Saltenas.” Saltenas are traditional Bolivian empanadas that can either be filled with savory or sweet foods, but it ultimately did not reach the Bolivian market due to McDonald’s safety standardsCNBC