Norwegian Language Blog

The Golden Arches in Norway Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in Culture, Norway and the world


Would you believe that there are 72 McDonald’s restaurants in Norway?  I’m not sure why I was thinking about the presence of fast food kjeder (chains) in Norway.  I rarely eat fast food in the U.S. and when I do, I stick to Subway, Chipotle, Potbelly’s, Panera-mostly sandwich style kjeder.  I can’t remember the last time I went to McDonald’s.  I’m not going to lie and pretend that the food doesn’t taste good, but I avoid it because I will inevitably feel very ill and uncomfortable after I consume an item on the McDonald’s meny (menu).

I will come back to my initial question-can you believe there are 72 of them in Norway?  Norway and Minnesota are roughly the same size as far as physical space and number of statsborger (citizens).  Norway has more than half of the number of McDonald’s restaurants that Minnesota has.  I find this surprising for several reasons.  The majority of the Norwegian population is very healthy and as a result take their lunches to school or work and then cook dinner at home (or go out, but not often to McDonald’s).  Clearly a lot of people are going to McDonald’s if 72 of them can survive.


I have identified several forskjeller (differences) between McDonald’s in the U.S. and McDonald’s in Norway.  The first major difference  can be seen in the above picture.  This is a picture of a McDonald’s in Norway.  As you can see, it is much nicer than any McDonald’s in the U.S.  In 2011, McDonald’s was rated the 7th best arbeidsplass (place to work) among store bedrifter (large companies) in Norway.  There are about 2,000 medarbeidere (employees) the work for McDonald’s in Norway.  McDonald’s locations in Norway are staffed by mostly unge mennesker (young people) who represent over 70 cultures!  Again, for the size of country Norway is, I find this very impressive.

In Norway, over 80% of McDonald’s restaurants are franchises, like the one shown in the above picture.  The franchise owner can påvirke (influence) a great deal about the atmosphere.

Another great thing that sets Norwegian McDonald´s apart from other McDonald´s is that 75% of the products on the meny come from Norway.  The kjøtt (meat), kylling (chicken), fisk (fish), brød (bread), poteter (potatoes), and salat (salad) of høy kvalietet (high quality)!

McDonald´s in Norway is also tries to be as green as possible regarding energy used in transport and operational costs, as well as in how they manage waste.

I have to say it is much more appealing for me to go to McDonald´s in Norway than here at home!

Maybe I´ll have my next bursdagsfest (birthday party) there….see here for details.



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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Bob Boisvert:

    Norway… the home of the $16.00 Big Mac Extra Value

  2. jonn:

    everything in norway is so expensive! but man i LOVE MIX!! but a burger there is $20!!!!!

  3. Bob O’Neil:

    I was delightly surprisedwhen I found I could have an alchol free beer in MacDonalds in 1997 when we were in Oslo. The (all) food is expensive in Norway. You should always plan to eat at a relatives home.

  4. Bob O’Neil:

    I was delightly surprised when I found I could have an alcohol free beer in MacDonalds in 1997 when we were in Oslo. The (all) food is expensive in Norway. You should always plan to eat at a relatives home.

    • kari:

      @Bob O'Neil Bob-Agreed, it’s always cheaper and much more enjoyable to spend time eating with relatives. The food will likely be better as well!