People wait in line to purchase food at the new McDonald's restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city [Image Source: Getty Images/Paula Bronstein]

The Golden Arches Are Now Lighting Up Vietnam

ASEAN The Mekong

The world’s largest fast food franchise, McDonald’s, officially opened in Vietnam for the first time on February 8.

Located in Ho Chi Minh City’s commercial center, the restaurant can seat 350 people and has 24-hour drive-through service. Henry Nguyen, CEO of the company awarded the franchise rights, worked at a McDonald’s in the US when he was a teenager and dreamed of bringing the golden arches to his home country.

McDonald’s joins a growing list of US restaurant chains operating in Vietnam, including Burger King, KFC, Subway, Starbucks and others. Burger King opened its first location in Vietnam in 2011 and already has 29 locations. KFC has been operating there since 1997 and now has at least 130 locations across Vietnam.

Vietnam is the 38th country in Asia where McDonald’s operates. The country looks likely to be a good market for the chain, given the popularity American restaurants have had there.

Jieun Choi is an Asan Academy Intern at the East-West Center in Washington.