McDonald’s will close all of its restaurants in Iceland next week, after high ingredient costs, high import taxes, and a depreciation of the Icelandic krona have made the national Big Mac the most expensive in the world. The Guardian has more:
The closure of the fast-food giant’s three restaurants on Monday means Iceland will become one of the few European countries, including Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, without a McDonald’s.
Jon Ogmundsson, managing director of Lyst, holder of the McDonald’s franchise in Iceland, said the rising cost of importing ingredients and no sign of economic recovery meant the business was no longer financially viable.
A Big Mac in Reykjavik sells for 650 krona (£3.22), but the 20% price rise required to make a decent profit would have increased it to 780 krona (£3.86), which would have made the Icelandic version of the burger the most expensive in the world.
“I’ve sold more hamburgers in the last few months than ever before, but the cost is prohibitive. It just makes no sense,” Ogmundsson told Reuters. “For a kilo of onion, imported from Germany, I’m paying the equivalent of a bottle of good whiskey.”.
McDonald’s opened in Reykjavik in 1993. The company said in a statement that it would not seek a new partner in Iceland owing to the state of the economy and the complexity of doing business in an island nation of just 300,000 people.