Yo quiero una hamburguesa fresca con queso

While I studied abroad in Madrid, my go to item at Gran Via McDonald’s was the fresh cheeseburger. I hadn’t really planned on eating American fast food while abroad, but my host mother raved about what she called the best hamburgers in Spain. For a country that is known for its beef and pork products I was surprised that this type of fast food was so popular, as evident in the lines I often waited in during lunch. While McDonald’s makes since in a country like America where quality food is not highly valued, it was a bit more surprising to find that it had such a large presence in Spain. Unlike American McDonald’s, these Spanish locations sold their food as a family dining experience, even offering coupons for family meal deals, similar to those that I see on Domino’s Pizza ads here. Even though many Spaniards make fun of American culture, a staple of which is arguably our obsession with fast food, they too are becoming a part of this trend of eating fast food frequently. On nearly every corner in downtown Madrid, you could find a variety of fast foods, whether they were national or international chains. While it was not difficult to find signature Spanish foods around the city, it was surprising that in a country whose people pride themselves so highly on their traditional dishes, has a market that is so highly saturated with fast food chains of nearly every kind. Upon discussing the marketing strategies of McDonald’s in its international markets in class, it became clear why it has been so successful in Spain. It all comes down to the successful branding of the experience customers will have if they eat at McDonald’s.