McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the world, with sales of $21 billion a year. Its stock has a market value of $178 billion, which is not bad for a small restaurant business founded in 1940. Today, McDonald’s has over 38,000 locations around the world. Its menu has evolved from mostly hamburgers and french fries to one that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some McDonald’s locations are open 24 hours a day.
Not surprisingly, McDonald’s food offerings differ from place to place to satisfy local tastes and customs. You can get Bubur Ayam Mc D (savory chicken porridge) at the Golden Arches in Malaysia, a McPollo Italiano (crispy chicken with mashed avocado) in Chile and a Quinoa Curry Burger in Switzerland. Beer is on the beverage menu in Belgium, Germany, Sweden and at least a dozen other countries.
Although the price of its food has risen over the years, McDonald’s is often one of the cheapest places to eat in America. However, in many parts of the world, it can be more expensive than other options. The Economist even introduced what it dubbed the Big Mac Index in 1986 as a not entirely serious (though not at all inaccurate) measure of the comparative value of various currencies.
To determine the country where a McDonald’s meal costs the most (consisting of a burger or other main item plus fries and a soft drink, or the equivalent combo meal) in 75 countries around the world, 24/7 Tempo consulted Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database of consumer prices and other quality-of-life information. Our prices were collected the week of August 9, 2021. (Because the data is crowd-sourced, it may vary from week to week.)
Note that prices may vary within countries. For instance, while the average in the United States is $8, it falls to as little as $6.75 in such cities as Albuquerque and Phoenix, according to the global comparison platform Versus.
The country with the most expensive McDonald’s meal is Switzerland, where the average price of a meal at McDonald’s is equivalent to $16.42 in U.S. dollars.