I remember the opening of the 1st Mc Donald's restaurant in La Paz Bolivia.
The anticipation, the advertising , etc. but I knew what to expect as I had travelled to London before and tried it for the first time there.
Bolivia has been perhaps influenced by foreign brands .. People used to think that if you have something from other country it was better. However it wasn't the case for Mc Donald's. As they had to closed all their restaurants in Bolivia. Which lead to headlights such as : "Bolivia the first Latin American country to kick out Mc Donald's "
When they first opened the restaurant in El Prado .. All my friends and I wanted to go to "check it out" and try it .. Probably at the time just to say to our other friends that we have been to Mc Donald's .. As it recently had opened ... So I reckon it was that kind of popularity that perhaps worked for the brand at the beginning ...
But it takes more than that to compete with the other restaurants and fast food customs of Bolivian people.
So perhaps me and my friends went to Mc Donald's a couple of times .. Some of them didn't really like the flavour of the burger ... Some the bread .. And some the "green stuff" the burgher had .. Etc .. Apart from that .. Was the price .. Which for some of us was preferably to spend half of what a Mc Donald's would cost us .. And buy a real burger .. And then spend the other money in something else ..
Also we were so used to see our Bolivian burgers being prepared in front of us from scratch .. We could see it being cooked .. We chose our salads ( no "green stuff") and apart from seeing our food being carefully prepared we chatted to our "casero" ( our trusted and first choice seller )
So that relationship within costumer and seller .. You wouldn't have seen in Mc Donald's (not at the time that I was there anyway..)
Apart from hamburgers in Bolivia there is plenty of choices when it comes to having a quick meal .. Bolivian fast food couldn't be more varied .. From salteñas , tucumanas, llauchas, rellenos, salchipapas, anticuchos, humintas, empanadas hmm I could continue .. But you can see the variety of food prepared carefully .. You know that it is also freshly made on the day.
I reckon that we prefer something that we know it's being prepared carefully and fresh .. That it has to be economic .. And probably most importantly it's got to taste nice.. We grow up with this food we are so familiar with our own fast food, it's part of our customs, tradition.. It's what we are .. It's specifically Bolivian food.
Therefore in my opinion all this points, in my experience, played an important role in the closure of Mc Donald's in Bolivia.
It takes more than a fancy name to make Bolivians fall in love with you.