Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The McAloo Tikki burger, McPops, onion rings. If you don't recognize these items from your regular McDonald's menu, that's because you can't get them at a regular McDonald's in the US. They're exclusive to McDonald's in their respective countries. Designed to both attract tourists... America does not have these fries or wings. ... and, more importantly, drive international sales. When you look at the sales figures, about 41% of their sales are in the US, and all the rest are international. Here's how and why the company designs those local menus. This is "The Economics of McDonald's International". McDonald's founder Ray Kroc opened his first restaurant in Illinois in 1955 with just three food items on the menu. Its staple was a 15-cent hamburger. It first moved outside the continental US in 1967. Now, the company has over 40,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. We think of McDonald's as an American company, and in the US, they have about 13,500 restaurants. But the bulk of their restaurants are actually international. So, all the rest of those restaurants⏤about 27,000⏤are all around the world. And you may have noticed that the restaurants look different. This is so chic. There's no Grimace, no Hamburglar. In Canada, they offer poutine. While global core items like burgers and fries make up most of McDonald's food sales still, these local menu items make up about 30%. International sales are a key part of McDonald's revenue. Australia, China, Japan, France, and Germany are a few of the company's top markets. Adopting a menu like this is a strategy companies use called "localization", and it's a tactic that has been essential to McDonald's global growth. When the company expanded into India in 1996, it did so without any beef on its menus, observing the common belief in the country that cows are sacred. McDonald's served more than 6 million customers there (in) its first year, with items like the Maharaja Mac, made with mutton patties. One of India's current popular items is this: the McAloo Tikki Burger. It's a potato and pea patty blended with some Indian spices. This is Roger Di Domenico. He works with local teams to build international menus. They remind me of a certain Indian street food that I had growing up. So, I think it's just a wonderful way to recognize and get closer to the customers while still remaining McDonald's. Most McDonald's locations globally are managed and owned by franchisees or licensees rather than the company. Deciding what's on those menus starts with customer research. Local experts use that research to craft new items. Local flavors are incorporated in several ways. The first is adapting McDonald's staples to fit specific tastes. I think if you look at the Spicy Chicken McNuggets that have been in multiple markets, each one of those markets has a different interpretation of what spice means to their consumers. There'll be one that might be highlighting curry. There might be one that highlights more of a Tabasco-like flavor. And then a third one that will use something like a Thai chili or a jalapeño. But some markets will create or offer something completely new. Mexico has McMolletes as part of breakfast. The Philippines serves fried chicken with McSpaghetti. If it's something that tastes like home and can be both true to McDonald's and true to the consumer, it's a big win for us. And some additions to the international menus compete with other restaurants. In some of these countries, McDonald's definitely competes with a brand like KFC on chicken. So, in some countries in the Middle East, they actually offer fried chicken. It's not something you'd see on US menus, but to compete with these local flavors, they do that. Some of the more popular international items have even spread to McDonald's menus globally. McFlurry started off in Canada and now it's loved everywhere. McSpicy is a product that started off as a local taste variation in China that has now been adopted all over the world. We want people to come in for the global core icons; we want people to come in to try something new. And, so, any of the menu items that we feel like will do that is what we wanna elevate in the system. McDonald's seized on the popularity of South Korean boy band BTS, launching a limited edition BTS meal in a number of countries in 2021. It included sweet chili and Cajun sauces inspired by the South Korean market. The company said the promotion helped drive a 40% increase from the year before in global sales and significantly lifted McNugget sales during that period. But some transplants aren't so successful. For a number of years, McDonald's has had a McVegan sandwich in Germany and some other European countries. They recently tried offering what they called a McPlant, which was using a Beyond Meat burger in the US, and they tested that in some markets. And it just doesn't seem the consumers here want that. So, you know, there is a push-pull, you know. It's fun to have new flavors, it's exciting, but it doesn't always work in a permanent way. While having a wide selection of items globally is profitable, McDonald's is looking to streamline some of its offerings. This year, the CEO Chris K has said that there's just too many redundancies all across the world. He gave an example where, you know, there's 70 different types of chicken sandwiches all across the world. And, so, I think they are in the process of examining that, but I don't think they're gonna eliminate all local items on menus. So, next time you're in Spain, you might be able to try McPops. They're filled with your choice of white chocolate or hazelnut. They're super soft and they've got this amazing filling on the inside. Can I bother you for a napkin?