Is McDonalds Popular In Japan?

Oct 11, 2022Shopify API

Wondering is McDonalds popular in Japan. Well, the answer is a big yes! In this post, you will learn about the reasons why McDonald's is such a popular fast-food chain in Japan, and what people love about it.

To find out how McDonald’s became one of the significant faces of the fast food industry in Japan, read our entire article below. 

Fast food restaurants are a favorite to most people across the world. From delicious burgers to fries, pizzas, fried chicken, pasta, shakes, drinks, and whatnot, you can literally find every junk food that tantalizes your taste buds in a fast food joint.

While there are countless fast-food restaurants worldwide, only some have managed to grab the limelight in certain countries. 

If you’re visiting Japan you might want to know what fast food chains operate there and what’s the most preferred fast food restaurant among the locals.

There are multiple fast food restaurants in Japan such as McDonald’s, KFC, Carl’s Jr, Shake Shack, etc. And today we’ll look at the popularity of McDonald’s in Japan. So hang on and read along!

McDonald’s definitely doesn’t need an introduction as it’s quite popular among both kids and adults, yet we felt the need to offer a brief introduction to indicate the growth of the fast food restaurant. 

McDonald’s is an American fast-food restaurant chain that was founded in 1940. It’s a well-reputed fast-food franchise that has nearly 38,000 outlets operating across 100 countries.

McDonald’s Popular In Japan
Source: Instagram

The fast-food giant is renowned for its burgers and fries while the iconic burger is the Big Mac which has a massive fanbase globally. 

With thousands of locations across the world, McDonald’s has downright become a popular fast-food brand that’s loved by people of all ages and a go-to spot for dine-ins and takeouts. 

In Japan, McDonald’s is referred to as ‘McDo’ and it has been one of the outstandingly performing fast food restaurants with several branches. The heightening success of McDonald’s in Japan is candidly exceptional and it’s quite inspiring as well.

More of the establishment, popularity, and success of McDonald’s coming for you down below.

Is McDonalds Popular In Japan

Is McDonald’s Famous In Japan?

By reading the previous passage above you could tell that McDonald’s is pretty much or undoubtedly quite popular across Japan as it is the Western fast food restaurant that’s solely preferred by most Japanese people. 

McDonald’s in Japan is quite popular for several reasons such as its delectable foods like hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, nuggets, McShakes, etc.

And it doesn’t only stop at food because McDonald’s outlets in Japan are renowned for offering one of the best customer services from all McDonald’s outlets across the world.

A positive experience from visiting a McDonald’s in Japan is you don’t have to wait too long to receive the meal you ordered. 

mcdonalds japan marketing strategy
Source: Instagram

Apart from friendly customer service, the cleanliness maintained at every Japanese McDonald’s joint is quite admirable since most Japanese people trust and appreciate the food quality standards and the food-making process followed by McDonald’s employees in Japan.

For most Japanese citizens and tourists to Japan, McDonald’s is the go-to place to get delicious and succulent fast food. The youngsters also deem McDonald’s as a fun place to hang out and have food.

McDonald’s is also popular in Japan among most kids as they love to celebrate their birthdays with friends at McDonald’s.  

How Did McDonald’s Gain Fame In Japan?

McDonald’s was able to capture the hearts of the Japanese people by using simple yet diplomatic business strategies. When McDonald’s initially opened a few outlets in Japan, the fast food giant implemented the tastes and flavors of Japanese cuisine into its menu.

Now we’re all aware that this is a strategy McDonald’s follows in every single country it operates in.

Since the Japanese people are very much ingrained in their culture, they were curious to try out the Japanese-infused flavors on the McDonald’s menu.

The Teriyaki McBurger was introduced to McDonald’s Japan in 1989 and since then it has been a favorite among the locals. 

mcdonalds japan history
Source: Instagram

Other special McDonald’s Japanese menu items include Shaka Shaka Chicken, Ebi-Filet-O, Bai Big Mac, Tsukimi Burger, etc. Not to mention the sauces that come with the burgers and sides also consisted of Japanese flavors such as Yuzu Shichimi sauce, Wasabi sauce, etc.

Another popular strategy of the fast food giant that it still sticks to this day is its affordability. McDonald’s in Japan is quite famous for being reasonable which aided it to reach a large customer base of all income demographics. There are several budget-friendly meal options in McDonald’s Japan that one can choose from.

And last but not the least, the availability of McDonald’s outlets across Japan has helped McDonald’s gain fame and recognition as Japanese customers found it convenient to find a McDonald's outlet in most areas across Japan.

As it seems, Japan has the most number of McDonald’s outlets outside of the United States which amounts to nearly 3000 outlets.

Is McDonald’s The Most Preferred Fast Food Restaurant In Japan?

Western fast-food restaurants have tackled the fast-food industry in most countries with their affordable and delicious range of meals.

However, let’s admit it, it’s not always the Western fast food chains that are leading in the fast food market. It’s only essential for the Japanese people to come up with authentic Japanese cuisine to draw in local customers.

Just like that, McDonald’s in Japan has faced and does face fierce competition from other Western fast food restaurants and local fast food brands as well.

Other Western fast food brands functioning in Japan are Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Carl’s Jr, etc. In addition, popular Japanese fast-food restaurants in Japan are Yoshinoya, MOS Burger, Sukiya, First Kitchen, and Lotteria. 

is mcdonalds in japan better
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When it comes to burgers, McDonald’s faces competition from other fast food brands like Burger King and MOS Burger.

In the interim, most Japanese fast-food restaurants focus excessively on providing traditional Japanese food to customers like ramen, Gyudon (beef bowls), rice and curry, sushi rolls, etc. 

The most preferred Japanese fast-food restaurant for the locals is Yoshinoya which is a Gyudon or beef bowl-based restaurant that offers quick and cheap meals.

Moreover, McDonald’s is the most preferred Western fast-food restaurant for most Japanese people, thanks to its affordable and versatile menu.

Most Popular McDonald’s Foods In Japan

McDonald’s in Japan has a wide and versatile variety of foods on its menu that has a Western touch to it yet with subtle authentic Japanese flavors which makes McDonald’s Japan stand out from its competitors. 

Let’s take a look at some of the favorite items at McDonald’s Japan among locals and foreign tourists as well. 

mcdonalds japan menu price
Source: Instagram
  • Teriyaki McBurger - The Teriyaki McBurger is one of the first Japanese and Western fusion items introduced by McDonald’s in Japan. It’s an all-time favorite that’s made out of soft buns, pork patty, lettuce, mayonnaise, and the signature teriyaki sauce.
  • Bai Shrimp Filet-O - This is one of the favorite burgers for locals and it’s made out of a filet patty which consists of shrimp chunks inside which is accompanied by shredded lettuce and spicy mayonnaise. 
  • Shaka-Shaka Chicken (Shaka Chicki) - This is a side dish that’s made out of a large piece of chicken that is coated in bread crumbs and deep fried. It looks like a large chicken nugget and comes in a small pouch. One popular aspect of the Shaka Shaka Chicken is you can choose your preferred seasoning and sprinkle it over the chicken and shake it inside the pouch.
  • Tsukimi Pie - McDonald’s pies are definitely a must-have treat and the Tsukimi Pie from McDonald’s Japan consists of the traditional red bean mochi filling with a crispy fried pie exterior. 

Which Is The Most Popular McDonald’s Outlet In Japan?

Most of the McDonald’s outlets in Japan are operating across the capital city of Tokyo as it is the busiest city in the world. The most popular McDonald’s branch in Tokyo City is located in Shibuya City which offers dine-in, takeaway, and delivery options as well.

This particular McDonald’s branch is renowned for its relaxing ambiance and friendly customer service. 

Address - 2 Chome-6-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0053.

Contact No - +81 3-5351-4498

Opening Hours - Every day 6:30 am to 11 pm.

When Was McDonald’s Established In Japan?

McDonald’s in Japan was initially established in 1971 in Ginza, Tokyo after obtaining the franchisee license from McDonald’s Corporation USA.

When the first McDonald’s outlet was opened in Japan, several market researchers anticipated the closure of the McDonald’s outlet and the failure of the fast food chain.

This was due to the contrasting taste buds and appetites the Japanese people had at the time as Western foods like hamburgers were totally alien to them. 

how is mcdonalds different in japan
Source: Instagram

However, McDonald’s was able to disprove such claims and theories as the number of McDonald’s outlets in Japan increased to over 100 within 5 years of its inauguration. As of now, the number of McDonald’s outlets operating across Japan is numbered to 2900. 

Within just the first few years of opening, McDonald’s in Japan experienced a massive breakthrough in the fast food industry in Japan as the total revenue in December 2000 amounted to 70 billion yen. 

According to Statista as of 2021, the net sales of McDonald’s Japan were approximately over 300 billion yen and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the total sales of McDonald’s have proportionately increased.

Furthermore, McDonald’s is the only Western fast-food restaurant chain to have reached such a maturation in the Japanese fast-food industry. 

Is McDonald’s Popular In Japan: FAQs

Is McDonald’s successful in Japan?

McDonald’s is one of the oldest fast food chains operating in Japan which presently has over 3000 outlets across the country, making Japan the second country around the world to have the most McDonald’s outlets.

McDonald’s opened its first outlet in Japan in 1971. It’s a popular fast-food restaurant and a favorite among people of all ages in Japan. As of 2021, the total net sales of McDonald’s in Japan were recorded to be nearly 300 billion yen.

What is the most popular McDonald’s item in Japan?

McDonald’s in Japan has a bunch of versatile meal options customers can choose from that not only presents the Western fast food style but also has a fusion of Japanese flavors.

The most popular and preferred McDonald’s item in Japan is the Teriyaki McBurger which has a pork patty between the buns with lettuce and mayonnaise. Side dishes like Shaka Shaka Chicken are also a local favorite as well.

Does Japan like McDonald’s?

McDonald’s is one of the popular fast food restaurants in Japan that has multiple outlets operating.

McDonald’s is the go-to restaurant for burgers in Japan as it provides a wide range of meal options for affordable price ranges and the friendly and effective customer service has made McDonald’s a reliable spot for most Japanese people.

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