≡ Menu
Following the Rules

Are fast foods any different in Asia?

Almost all the fast food restaurants have major presences in Asia, and a lot of what they’re doing is similar to the US. This week though we’re going to focus on the differences.

How do major brands change their services to accommodate the typical Asian consumer? Well, here are three ways:

For one, the Pizza Hut in Beijing doesn’t serve bottled water.

For one, the Pizza Hut in Beijing doesn’t serve bottled water.

1. KFC sells curry and rice for cheaper than their regular chicken.

Fast food in Asia, and particularly Thailand, is expensive compared to local food. While a single piece of KFC’s chicken goes for about 60 Thai Bhat (around 60 cents), a typical plate of Pad Thai only costs 20. KFC needed to do something, so they added a line of curry and rice plates that sell for about the same as local dishes.

Spicy, crunchy and forgettable.

Spicy, crunchy and forgettable.

Speaking of Adapting cuisine to the locals,

2. McDonald’s in Thailand sells fried chicken and copies every item on KFCs menu.

KFC is huuge in China and Thailand, so naturally they attracted the attention of the most vicious fast food restaurant in the business. McDonald’s Thailand not only sells fried chicken using their own mix of herbs and spices, but copied KFC’s entire line of Thai friendly curry. I can’t tell you whose is better but McDonald’s offers a lot more than just chicken in theirs.

McDonald’s is a four course sit down restaurant in Thailand

McDonald’s is a four course sit down restaurant in Thailand

3. Popcorn in China is caramel corn instead of salty.

Not sure if it’s like this in other countries, but in the US all the popcorn we have in theaters is salty and delicious. Not so in China where the popcorn, even at American style theaters, is cheaper and made into this crunchy brown caramel corn desperately in need of salt. Not sure why they do it like that, but I went to see a movie while in Shanghai and left the concession booth disappointed.

Those are the top three differences, maybe I’ll tell you some more in another post.

What the weirdest fast food item you’ve ever had?

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.