Lyst, the operator of US fast food chain McDonald’s in Iceland, announced yesterday that the restaurant’s doors will close at the end of this month. The reason is the rising cost of imported supplies following the collapse of the Icelandic króna.
A hamburger, not from McDonald’s. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The low exchange rate in addition to high tariffs have doubled the company’s expenses for meat, cheese, vegetables and other products and challenged its profitability. The ingredients for hamburgers must be imported according to McDonald’s’ regulations, visir.is reports.
Lyst has therefore decided to open a new fast food chain, Metro, in the three locations in Reykjavík where McDonald’s currently operate.
Metro will have Icelandic hamburgers with Icelandic ingredients on the menu, which will create up to 15 new jobs among Icelandic producers.
These changes are undertaken in agreement with McDonald’s, a statement from Lyst reads.
According to visir.is, news of McDonald’s being shut down immediately raised attention in the world press.
AFP discussed the move with owner of Lyst Jón Gardar Ögmundsson and concluded its report by saying that former Prime Minister Davíd Oddsson was the first to eat a hamburger at McDonald’s when the fast food chain first opened in Iceland in 1993.
Ögmundsson told AFP it is unlikely that his company will reopen McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland even after the economy recovers.