Monday, April 1, 2013

When McDonald’s and friends are exclusive

How’d you feel when you eat at any restaurants like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut or Wendy’s? If you’re American I bet you’d say I feel nothing, just eating, that’s it. You may want to say, what’s the matter? Nothing, unless you've seen how other people perceive differently how eating at those kinds of restaurants feels like.

Perceiving the same thing differently can be an interesting topic to discuss since the actual thing perceived is the real, exact same thing. Regarding eating burgers, chicken and fries at those places, there are actually at least two different perceptions. First, the one that happens in developed countries, and second, the one happening in developing ones.

Let me start with the first. In America, which I consider as a developed one, those restaurants are nothing but common places to eat. There is nothing special eating there. You order the foods you want, pay them then you decide to dine-in or to-go.

Paying our foods at around 5 bucks per meal in average is normal. People can spend much more than that. Or, it might be considered as the cheapest food for eating out. Thus, eating at those restaurants is the cheapest way to get full which means there’s no reason to call them such exclusive places to eat. There are no reasons of being proud to eat there. Seriously, none!

However the second scenario might bring you to a surprise. In any developing countries, like Indonesia, eating is going to cost us just around 50 cents to 3 bucks. In average, people spent 1.5 bucks to eat. You can imagine that it is going to be very expensive if they have to spend 5 bucks for a meal. I as a developing country citizen think that 5 bucks for a meal just doesn't make any sense.

This situation happens because apparently the living standards of both countries are different. I assume that the minimum wage of developing countries can be 5 times less than that of the developed ones.

Here in Indonesia, there are a bunch of fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut. They are here serving quite the same foods unless some additional menus that are locally traditionalized. For example, I’d never found any McDonald’s or Burger King serves rice for folks in the States. But here, almost all those restaurants do.

Even though the menus are eventually made to taste locally, but unfortunately the price don’t change unless a bit. For example, for a big mac plus fries and drink you have to pay around 40,000 rupiah which is almost exactly 5 bucks.

And here is the thing, because of the price seems very expensive here in Indonesia, people think that eating at those kinds of restaurants are awesome. What I mean by awesome is that they feel proud if the can eat there. It is a prestige to be able to eat there. They feel like, “Wow!”

McDonald’s and friends have become such exclusive places to eat here. I thought so to be honest until I got to the US and saw who they really are. In the States, those places are where people do not want to spend much to eat. There’s nothing to be proud of by eating there unless you are an uncool person, seriously. Meanwhile in Indonesia, people feel so happy when they can eat there.

Those places have become such high class places to hang out and to eat. When people ask you where you ate, and you say, say, KFC, it is common for people here to say, “Wow!” I used to say so, but now whenever I hear people say so, I’ll be like “What?!”

I don’t mean to ruin or degrade the reputations of McDonald’s and friends. Instead, I am explaining the fact that in different countries, these places have transformed to be more admired. If you’re American, I hope this is going to be something you can learn. And, if you are Indonesian, I would not stop you going to eat there and waste your money.

I am just saying that there’s no pride at all eating there unless you already had an unforgettable moment over there. And, if you still want to go there and think that this article is nonsense, just go eat there. But at local “warung” or food shops, you can eat at least three times more with the same money. I am just saying, just be rational. That’s it.


  1. artikelnya sebenarnya keren..tapi bahasa-nya itu, jadi saya hanya duduk manis saja mencoba perlahan menyimak dan memahaminya...,
    yang saya tahu Mc Donal, KFC dan sejenisnya itu menjadi sangat esklusive di Indonesia saja, karena di negara asalnya..mereka dianggap biasa saja...sama dengan restoran-restan yang lainnya :-)

  2. syid sekedar saran ni, mending artikelmu pkek b.indonesia aja bia lebh enak d bc