How France Fell for Le Big Mac

McDonald's French operation is company's 2nd most profitable
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2008 11:59 AM CDT
McDonalds in Paris, where Perrier and fries go together.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – After the US, what country has the most profitable McDonald's franchises in the world? The surprising answer: it's France, home of the Michelin Guide and the three-hour lunch. The London Times travels to Paris to discover how the French have begun to adopt Anglo-American eating practices, abandoning the leisurely midday meal for a burger or sandwich to go.

Most French employees still receive a ticket-restaurant, a lunch voucher valid in any establishment. But between tough economic times and more American styles of work, many workers spend them at fast-food joints instead of bistros. In Paris, chic salad-and-sandwich establishments are all the rage, but many workers still swear by Mickey D's—or "Macdoh," to use the French abbreviation.