Why are there no McDonald´s restaurants in Kosovo (yet)?

McDonald´s, Big Mac, Kosovo, war, peace

Prior to explaining the actual situation, we want to share our short trip to Kosovo with you. In February 2017 we went to Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo for a total of five days. We certainly had a pretty tight schedule but still were able to visit the most interesting places in these non-touristic countries.

night, Prizren, Kosovo
Prizren at night.

We stayed in Prizren in a decent but cheap hotel for a single night. The city center is surprisingly clean and nicely furbished up. A lovely river crosses the city and offers great spots for small cobblestone bridges. Around the river area, many unique restaurants can be found. Overall this city is worth an overnight stay.

Square, city, Prizren, Kosovo
Square in Prizren.

The countryside that we have seen of Kosovo is not that special except for the northwest. Another major city is Peja, situated in the northwest directly at the foot of spectacular mountains. During sunny days, the view is unchallenged in Kosovo. Other areas certainly offer nice places as well, but we personally have just visited parts of the Kosovo as of today.

Why is there not yet a McDonald´s restaurant in Kosovo?

Now the special part of this blog comes in. While we were there, we searched for big international chains such as McDonald’s. Once we came across a sign with the exact golden M as in the original logo. But interestingly it neither had the name “McDonald´s” and also did not look like an official store. Immediately, we thought of intellectual property violation, but that was the moment we decided to dig deeper into the overall issue. What we found out is somehow mind blowing.

The McDonald´s Peace Theory

Thomas Friedman devoted himself to researching the missing link between capitalism and peace. Ultimately, he came up with the McDonald´s peace theory. Basically, it states that “countries with McDonald´s within their borders do not go to war with other countries with McDonald’s within their borders.” Since “economic freedom and capitalism, as well as foreign investment, promote peace” increasing foreign investments of corporations show progress towards peace. Foreign investments such as the ones McDonald´s does in nearly all places of the world, bring with it a high capital risk for the companies. Therefore, you would logically only invest in countries that are in peace with the other countries.

Also, a functioning capitalistic system is responsible for increasing wealth and the quality of life of the inhabitants. This leads to less urge to start wars since there is more quality of life at stake to lose.

So why is there no McDonald´s in Kosovo yet? It certainly is associated with the unclear political situation in the country. The Kosovo war during the end of the 20th century displaced a vast majority of the people living in Kosovo to other areas and even the surrounding countries and left the country unclear in terms of sovereignty. Today, however, 111 countries out of the 193 member states of the UN regard the Republic of Kosovo as an independent country.

Future development

Definitely, this development shows progress towards a safer environment in the entire area. Due to this reason is McDonald´s currently thinking about entering the fast-food market in Kosovo. If this happens, it would be a huge sign in international politics, demonstrating the safety and the political stability of the Republic of Kosovo. Also, an entrance of McDonald´s would probably accelerate further foreign investments of other multinationals into Kosovo, improving the bad economic situation of the country.

Prizren, Kosovo, Morning
Good Morning from Kosovo!


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