back to article McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

McDonald's is suing the city of Florence for $20m after its left-wing mayor rejected Maccy D's application to open a burger joint on the historic Piazza del Duomo. The claim for damages was filed after McDonald's was said to have promised to make lots of changes to its business model to placate angry locals. Florence's mayor …

  1. SomeoneInDelaware
    IT Angle

    The real reason

    The under the table payments probably aren't happening, hence all the drama.

    1. BillG Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: The real reason

      No, many Italian cities have laws preserving the traditional cultural look and feel of the region.

      Think about it - do you really want to see a Florence city street that is filled with flashing signs and golden arches? Is that why tourists visit it every year?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: The real reason

        do you really want to see a Florence city street that is filled with flashing signs and golden arches? Is that why people visit it every year?

        [Insert standard American joke here.]

        1. Kevin Johnston

          Re: The real reason

          Those with long memories will remember images of 'British Pubs' in Spain with signs advertising Watneys Red Barrel for those tourists that only wanted to go abroad for some sunshine. The ones that didn't want to have to suffer that foreign food and drink and why does no-one offer a nice fish and chips like they get at home with a lovely cup of tea etc etc

          Here's a clue people...celebrate cultural differences, it is part of what make foreign places ,well, foreign.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            Best sign I ever saw was in the Canary Islands:

            We only serve English food!

            - Pizza

            - Burgers

            - Curry

            I couldn't tell if they were being deliberately obtuse or not, but they were certainly busy.

            1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Re: The real reason

              I saw a sign in a back street in Andorra once, entitled "Top Totty".

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: The real reason

                Top Totty

                When my sister was working in Lugo (Spain) she was amused that a local cafe was called "Don Mac".

                Can't imagine pulpo on the menu under the golden arches...

                M.

            2. sniperpaddy
              Thumb Up

              Re: The real reason

              Ha, ha, I saw those signs, plus "British tea".

              That particular colony is long gone.

            3. stu 19

              Vendor Related

              Not related to this except its an amusing vendor ad.

              In Altinkum, Turky, the looky looky men advertise their watches as "Genuine Fake Rolex"

              Well they did when I was there, about 18 years ago !!

          2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            To be fair, foreign beer is ( if you like brown beer with bits in ) crap. It's all plain lager. Is buying San Miguel from an international superbrewery really celebrating cultural differences?

            I'm not one of those fish+chips on the costas people, but I would appreciate a decent pint of blonde in the sun, were it available.

            1. Colin Ritchie
              Windows

              Re: The real reason

              "To be fair, foreign beer is ( if you like brown beer with bits in ) crap."

              Please allow me to aquaint you with the brown beers of Belgium and Holland (definitely foreign). Grimbergen, Westmalle and Leffe are my favorite Belgian Trappist style ones. (https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/style/119/).

              Holland does more yellow beers but La Trappe is particularly nice. (https://www.beerhawk.co.uk/dutch-beers).

              Most of them taste similar to Newcastle Brown Ale but without the chemicals.

              As for Italy's protectionist attitude to areas of outstanding historical architecture and beauty, McDonald's can burger off! Having visited Florence, Pisa and Venice back in the 1980s I would be appalled to see a MaccyD sign anywhere near them.

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: The real reason

                Belgium I'll grant you, but I was talking really about the warm holiday places people go - Spain, Italy, Malta, etc.

                To my mind, there's nothing on par with a good cask blonde beer. I wouldn't drink Newcastle Brown if you paid me

                1. Patrick R
                  Pint

                  Re: The real reason

                  >"Belgium I'll grant you, but I was talking really about the warm holiday places people go - Spain, Italy, Malta, etc."

                  You can go to Spain or anywhere in the world and buy a belgian beer, you don't need a belgian pub to sit and drink it.

                  Also, funny how Americans massively proclaim themself anti-globalization when it doesn't suits them (see today's voting).

                  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Re: The real reason

                    That's kind of my point. English bee, Belgian beer, even some American beer now, etc, are better than the Spanish/Italian/German/Czech, etc lagers.

                2. BongoJoe

                  Re: The real reason

                  To my mind, there's nothing on par with a good cask blonde beer. I wouldn't drink Newcastle Brown if you paid me

                  Nor I. It used to be a good brew until they moved the brewery to a factory across the river.

            2. Criminny Rickets

              Re: The real reason

              "To be fair, foreign beer is ( if you like brown beer with bits in ) crap. It's all plain lager."

              I am in Canada. I have not yet had the privilege of visiting Britain or Scotland, but one of my favourite beers is Innes & Gunn, which, for me, would make it foreign. Doesn't taste like crap to me.

            3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: The real reason

              "I'm not one of those fish+chips on the costas people, but I would appreciate a decent pint of blonde in the sun, were it available."

              You need to get away from the tourist areas, or at least keep an eye out for where the locals go to eat and drink. Tourist areas usually have higher costs so the businesses usually only sell the most popular generic products.

            4. Dagg
              Pint

              Re: The real reason

              disgustedoftunbridgewells

              Yea, all the foreign crap beer like old hen, whatneys, marstens, newcastle brown etc they keep trying to serve at mega expensive imported beer prices.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The real reason

              Clearly you have not partaken in the fetish for international craft beers. I assure you, the days of my preferring the English pint are long gone.

            6. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The real reason

              > To be fair, foreign beer is ( if you like brown beer with bits in ) crap.

              Foreign to whom? Czechs are certainly entitled to that opinion of yours.

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: The real reason

                Foreign to the UK, obviously. And I did qualify it with "if you like brown beer with bits in".

                Basically if you aren't a fan of lager style beers, that rules out anything popular from Europe other than Belgium. I'm sure German and Czech pilsners are very good, but to me they taste like slightly weird lager.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The real reason

                  > I'm sure German and Czech pilsners are very good, but to me they taste like slightly weird lager.

                  And I'm sure you've never heard of nefiltrované pivo.

            7. nijam

              Re: The real reason

              > ...were it available...

              I think the point of celebrating cultural differences is that you might try something else, once in a while. Which you won't if you prejudge local produce as failing to live up to what you choose "back home".

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: The real reason

                I do drink the spanish beer and that wine, fruit and rum drink who's name has escaped me, I do eat the local cuisine. I also eat non-local foods, because why not buy something you enjoy. I'd love to be able to augment my lovely foreign holiday with some beer that I love rather than tolerate. You can't do that obviously, so I don't.

                Who decided that you have to get the 'authentic' experience? Smug twats.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The real reason

                  > I do drink the spanish beer

                  Which one? There are two main producers in Spain (and various smaller ones), Estrella and San Miguel. The latter, however, is in fact from the Philippines.

                  > and that wine, fruit and rum drink who's name has escaped me

                  That would be sangria, originally from around Valencia and only regularly drunk and properly prepared there by the natives. In the rest of the peninsula, it is either unheard of or just something the tourists drink, almost always in its Tetra-Brik version.

                  Curiously, paella (which simply means "frying pan" in Catalan) is also from Valencia and coastal areas of Southern Catalonia. It was also almost unheard of elsewhere in Spain until the tourist boom in the late 50s, when it started to gain wider acceptance by the locals in other regions. However, a Spaniard will only eat paella in coastal towns in the Med (with a very few exceptions a few miles inland where fresh fish is delivered on the same day) and only after having informed himself via word of mouth of a good place to eat it. I am told that while a good paella with fresh ingredients (fresh as in alive, collected not more than a few hours prior) can be delicious if you're into that sort of thing, a mediocre one tastes like wash-up fluid.

                  > I do eat the local cuisine.

                  You probably don't, although you won't know it.

                  Local stuff and when to eat it:

                  Before 10:00: people are either still in bed or having a "cafe con leche" (capuccino without the foam) and a croissant.

                  Between 10:00 and 12:00: "bocadillo" (sandwich), typically: "lomo con queso" (cheese and pork), "jamón" (raw ham), "tortilla" (omelette), "chorizo" (chorizo), "atún" (tuna), or "vegetal" (it isn't), washed down with a Coke, a quinto (fifth litre of beer), mediana (third litre, I think), or water.

                  Between 13:00-16:00 (dinner--or lunch if you're south of the border): various sorts of stuff, such as pasta, stews, chicken, beef (not so common except in certain areas). Whatever it is, there'll probably be olive oil and rosemary somewhere in there.

                  Between 17:00-19:00: Coffee, orxata (summer only. Yet another thing from Valencia, a cold drink made from tiger nuts), hot chocolate (winter only. Very thick), beer, ...

                  After 18:00 or so, in the Basque country: pintxos + beer, wine, cider, or a soft drink.

                  After 20:00 (supper): Much the same as dinner. Some people make this the main meal of the day, others only have a light bite.

                  Typical "Spanish" stuff they do eat/drink: gazpacho, pinchos, orxata. Tapas are only served only in some southern regions and Galicia when you order a drink. You do not get to choose what you get, and it is not included in the bill. In other regions, small snacks can be ordered and are paid as usual.

                  Typical "Spanish" stuff they do not actually eat/drink: paella (with the exceptions above, and usually on Sundays, as it takes forever to prepare), sangria.

                  How to get weird looks: pour vinegar on your steaming hot chips! That said, some Spaniards actually like that.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The real reason

                    Before 10:00

                    Between 10:00 and 12:00

                    Between 13:00-16:00

                    Between 17:00-19:00

                    After 18:00 or so

                    After 20:00 (supper)

                    Is it me or don't they have time left in the day to get any work done?

                    :)

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: The real reason

                      > Is it me or don't they have time left in the day to get any work done?

                      qué?

                  2. This post has been deleted by its author

                  3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Re: The real reason

                    Interesting. I did say San Miguel but last time I was in that neck of the woods I drank Estrella.

                    I do occasionally drink Sangria at home, however it did strike me as a touristy thing.

                    Most nice things now are internationalised ( think Indian, Italian, Chinese, American, Turk/Greek food, etc ). It's not odd to eat Tapas in England for example. The "experience the local cuisine" stuff is just snobbery. Most not-great things are internationalised too ( San Miguel, Amsdel, etc - they're all cooking lager )

                    I don't go as far as drinking Boddingtons and eating fish and chips, but I will happily eat in a Spanish Chinese restaurant, but my original point was - bliss would be a foreign holiday with great beer, whether it's true to the area or not.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: The real reason

                      > I will happily eat in a Spanish Chinese restaurant

                      As a curious anecdote, if you walk into a random Spanish bar these days, there's a good chance that you'll be served by a Chinese person.

                      The Chinese community have wised up to the fact that there is an oversupply of Chinese restaurants (and Spaniards are often suspicious of those) and "bazaars" (tat shops) and have started to take over the local traditional bars as their owners retire.

                      Apart from the obvious communication problems with the older first-generation immigrant Chinese who either do not speak the local languages or do so with an incomprehensible accent, the service is better than before and they have kept the prices low. And they have kept the names so Bar Manolo is still called Bar Manolo not Bar Golden Lucky Gates of Happiness and such.

                2. Adam JC

                  Re: The real reason

                  Not Sangria, by any chance? Made properly, that stuff is lethal... and yummy :)

                  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Re: The real reason

                    Yes, I meant Sangria. I make it at home sometimes in the summer. Just the name escaped me.

            8. Patrician

              Re: The real reason

              ......"To be fair, foreign beer is ( if you like brown beer with bits in ) crap. It's all plain lager. Is buying San Miguel from an international superbrewery really celebrating cultural differences?".......

              You really haven't tried "foreign beer" if you believe the above; take a look at the various offerings from Belgium for a start.

            9. Mr Commenty McComentface

              Re: The real reason

              "To be fair, foreign beer is ( if you like brown beer with bits in ) crap. It's all plain lager. Is buying San Miguel from an international superbrewery really celebrating cultural differences?"

              Here stands a man with definite opinions, clear guidelines as to what he likes, firmly held visions of of a pint in the sun.

              ...and an unbelievably limited view of what beers are out there. Dude, Belgian beers, some good, some bonkers, some frickin' awesome. German beers, spent a happy few days a month ago supping a number of Germanic brews, from light to dark, even a couple of German IPAs, all good and without any headache from chemical based crap. I hate to even admit this, but even the Yanks are putting together some not shabby brews!

              Get you ass off the sun lounger and into some quality brews mate, you'll thank the brewers!

              San Miguel & Sol != beer

          3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            Here's a clue people...celebrate cultural differences,

            You do not need to explain that to a German tourist. You do not need to explain that to Scandinavian, Czech, Polish and most (not all) Russian tourists. This is why even places where every second is a German tourist (f.e La Palma in the Canaries mid-season) do not feel like somewhere in Munich.

            Try explaining that that to a Kentish Chav on Tenerife or just take a stroll down Costa Del Crime.

            Similarly, on the Canaries you can immediately discern if you are in a neutral zone (Corralejo about 7 years ago), British colony (Caleta de Fustes - renamed Costa Caleta to please the Chavs) or somewhere where non-Brits are a majority - f.e. Valverde on El Hierro.

            You have Mcdonalds, Pizza Hut, Indian and Chinese and Fish and Chips in Costa Caleta. Only that - no Spanish food at all. In Corralejo you have that and some remaining local food. In Valverde or other similar predominantly non-brit places you have one semi-moribund Chinese restaurant, no Indian, no Macdonalds, no Pizza hut and the rest is local food. Which is superb.

            Now, why is this so...

            Well, the whole BrExit thing is rooted much deeper than a lot of people would like to admit.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: The real reason @ Voland's right hand

              I'll disagree a bit on this actually, plenty of Italians I saw in Asia stuck religously to italian food restaurants and would not try anything else if this option was available, likewise the French and Germans. Once sat with a Canadian and while some Thai lady was making a fresh burger in front of me, ground beef pattie on a hotplate, loads of fresh vegatables and beer while it cooked, he went across to the Mac D's across the road because he didn't trust the beef she sold.

              But I get your point as well about places like Benidorm etc, but lets be honest you go to Benidorm, Costa Del Sol to get pissed and see the sun, it's cheap to get to from the UK and thats why you see a lot of package holidays over there on the cheap, not for culture not for a foreign experience, it's Blackpool with better weather. It's a certain subset of travellers who go to these places, (and willing to bet there are similar for other countries as well), and because of that I celebrate places like Benidorm, because it means I can fuck of somewhere else and not meet 'em.

              I would add sometimes travelling around some places, I would make it a mission to find a decent English breakfast, sometimes because things like traditional foreign breakfast just didnt work for me, sometimes because it was nice to have a little morning mission in a foreign country gave you an oppurtunity to wander, and the satisfaction of bacon and sausages for victory.

              1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

                Re: The real reason @ Voland's right hand

                I'll disagree a bit on this actually, plenty of Italians

                No disagreement - if you noticed I did not mention Italians. Or French. I did that on purpose too. Some nations are even more rabid in their food fanaticism then the British.

                There is also a big difference between Europe or Latin America and let's say Asia.

                In the latter you quite often do not know if they are cooking you a rat and do not have a single language in common with the cooking staff to ask if it is a rat. While I would not have gone to McDonalds, I would have given some serious consideration eating in a local eatery anywhere in Asia.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: The real reason @ Voland's right hand

                  Fair enough on the Italians and French food then.

                  On the you might get rat thing in Asia, that strikes me as unlikely mime can be quite good to work out whats what when ordering. Even if it is then as long as loads of locals are using it, it would probably be good so why worry? In some parts rat is more expensive than chicken anyway, you are not talking city rats, think more rice field rats and it's basically another rodent like rabbit and just as clean. I'd probably try it. Rat onna stick needs ketchup though.

                  Not saying it's always all good, spice levels can be surprising, and I have had deep fried chicken tendons served up (ordered by some friends who knew what they were), they were actually pretty awful. Eat with some countryside families and the meat might be of a different choice to the usual such as monitor lizard, or ant eggs but they will be clean, and a friend and I did once spend a while dipping raw crayfish in egg and eating it before the staff indicated we should really put it in the soup they had also served to allow it to cook.

                  Only had food poisoning in Asia once, and that was a dodgy Indian curry at a tourist place. Never had a problem eating anywhere that's more local.

            2. sniperpaddy

              Re: The real reason

              Agreed Corralejo is pretty neutral with very little burger&chip territory and some laid back expat influence. Puerto del Carmen across the water is complete chip and burger territory.

              No coincidence that Fuertaventura is sports territory and Lanzarote is old or chav.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The real reason

            "Those with long memories will remember images of 'British Pubs' in Spain"

            My god man, where else could you get a full english and a pint before 9am ready to go and moan at the Germans nicking sunbeds.

            I would love to celebrate cultural differences but I tried Paella but those hard shells put me off plus I can't get it with chips.

            P.S. I voted brexit

            1. sniperpaddy
              Facepalm

              Re: The real reason

              Then you'll need a visa to visit Spain again !!!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The real reason

              > My god man, where else could you get a full english and a pint before 9am ready to go and moan at the Germans nicking sunbeds.

              That AC does have a point there. Spanish bars in coastal areas are not generally open before ten, and the breakfast they offer (esmorzar, for Catalan speakers) is not quite as copious, generally consisting of a sandwich of some description + coke or quinto.

              > I would love to celebrate cultural differences but I tried Paella but those hard shells put me off plus I can't get it with chips.

              Two things:

              1. Paella *is* vile stuff, even the properly made one where you cook the crabs and other stuff alive.

              2. The frozen "paella" that tourists get is beyond despicable. It is such a serious crime that even the Spanish criminal code does not dare mention it.

          5. Eddy Ito Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: The real reason

            Here's a clue people...celebrate cultural differences, it is part of what make foreign places ,well, foreign.

            But I live within auditory range of Disney! If I wanted foreign, I'd just stay here!

          6. Criminny Rickets

            Re: The real reason

            "Here's a clue people...celebrate cultural differences, it is part of what make foreign places ,well, foreign."

            McDonald's has previously shown that they are willing to adapt to local cultural menus.

            http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30115555

          7. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            Watneys Red Barrel for those tourists that only wanted to go abroad for some sunshine. The ones that didn't want to have to suffer that foreign food and drink and why does no-one offer a nice fish and chips like they get at home with a lovely cup of tea etc etc

            Ah, the Monty Python Travel Agent skretch sums that up nicely

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz2LaJOVAiA

          8. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The real reason

            Thought we were all the same?

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: The real reason

        Surely they could have planning restrictions on maintaining the look of the building ( no giant yellow M, for example ), rather than just saying "no".

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: The real reason

          maintaining the look of the building

          The feel of a city is not just the building look. It is the food, the overall vibe, etc.

          In any case - even if the building did not have an M sign, the one mile worth of discarded cardboard boxes with M on them around it would have had the same effect.

        2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: rather than just saying "no"

          I've been saying no to McDonald's for years with no ill effects.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: rather than just saying "no"

            I've been saying no to McDonald's for years with no ill effects.
            When The Gitling was but a tadpole attending primary school, he used to pester us to go to McDonalds. Eventually, his best friend (a Merkin by birth) had a birthday party at the Golden Arches. When he arrived back home, The Gitling said: "How do people manage to eat that crap?"

        3. Patrician

          Re: The real reason

          Surely they have the right to tell MacDonalds to "piss off" too?

      3. Flip

        Re: The real reason

        The restaurant can be built to fit the surrounding architecture; search for an image of the McDonald's in Banff National Park. No towering arches because of building restrictions. 'Course the fare is the same, er, food.

        1. Nolveys Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: The real reason

          'Course the fare is the same, er, food.

          I wouldn't use either the world "fare" or "food" to describe that stuff.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            I wouldn't use either the world "fare" or "food" to describe that stuff.
            Try food-like substances. Serves me well enough.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The real reason

          The restaurant can be built to fit the surrounding architecture; search for an image of the McDonald's in Banff National Park.

          Sure. Now all they have to do is stop serving their food and all would be well.

          Oh, and not call it McDonald's.

          :)

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: The real reason

          "The restaurant"

          Please stop using McDonalds marketing terms. I don't care what they are called in the USA, in the rest of the world a McDonalds is NOT a restaurant. At best it might be a cafe, or in US parlance, a diner. A restaurant is a place where you go for a nice freshly cooked meal made from real food ingredients.and has a nice atmosphere.

          A fast food place is just that. A fast food place.

          1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            " a diner" - Mickey D's is definitely not a diner: wrong menu, wrong type of service (diners have wait staff), and wrong atmosphere.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: The real reason

              Mickey D's is definitely not a diner: wrong menu, wrong type of service (diners have wait staff), and wrong atmosphere.
              And restaurants have waiters also. The Git was a food and drink waiter in an Italian restaurant in the 1970s. How about Merkinfakefoodshithole?

        4. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: The real reason

          Indeed, when McDonald's wanted to open in York, England, they had to tweak their shop frontage. At the time, McD's did red and yellow, a bit garish (it was the 80s I guess), York town planners said they could have wood panelling and brass. McD's knowing which side of their bun has the relish on it agreed, and the result wasn't too hideous. My local one is far cry from the garish colour scheme and white plastic chairs of the 80s too, seems they've almost got style. Now, all they have to do is make food that isn't limp.

        5. nijam

          Re: The real reason

          "Barff National Park", surely?

      4. Locky Silver badge

        @Rich11

        Harrogate centre for many years was MaccyD's free for this exact reason, before the corperation bowed to the council's willing.

        It was, not sure if it still it, the only franchise without the garish branding outside

        1. Tyson Key

          Re: @Rich11

          I've seen one built in a Tudor-style building, on the approach to Slough, fairly recently - which I thought was fairly interesting, for what it's worth; so I guess that they're not totally unwilling to blend with their surroundings.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @Rich11

            "I've seen one built in a Tudor-style building, on the approach to Slough, fairly recently - which I thought was fairly interesting, for what it's worth; so I guess that they're not totally unwilling to blend with their surroundings."

            And to be fair <hack spit!> to McDs, they have finally almost completely eliminated the garish and tacky red and yellow plastic building frontages and gone for a more subdued, almost heritage style dark green and slightly more muted yellow, often with some wood cladding. They do look a bit nicer than they used to. Not that I'd go in one :-)

        2. sniperpaddy

          Re: @Rich11

          I saw a Mac Donalds in Lyon, France without the golden arches. The frogs don't like chav architecture either.

        3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: @Rich11

          Harrogate centre for many years was MaccyD's free ... It was, not sure if it still it, the only franchise without the garish branding outside

          There's a McDonalds in Cambridge on Rose Crescent that was forced to fit it. It's got the golden arches outside, but only on a small 18th century style light like all the others in the crescent.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Rich11

          I think Harrogate must have sold out then. Nasty generic buildings full of global chains:

          McDonalds, Harrogate

      5. User McUser
        Coat

        Re: The real reason

        Think about it - do you really want to see a Florence city street that is filled with flashing signs and golden arches? Is that why tourists visit it every year?

        I mean, what's the point in going abroad if you're just another tourist carted 'round in busses surrounded by mindless sweaty oafs from Kettering and Boventry, complaining about the tea "Oh, they don't make it properly here, do they? Not like at home." And once a day there's an excursion to the local Roman Ruins to buy cherry-aid and melted ice cream and bloody Watney's Red Barrel...

      6. Criminny Rickets

        Re: The real reason

        "No, many Italian cities have laws preserving the traditional cultural look and feel of the region."

        I am all for keeping the traditional look. Yet if McDonalds is willing to work within that architectural framework, then they should be allowed to set up shop. They have done it in other cities without issues.

        1. Rattus Rattus

          Re: The real reason

          @Criminny Rickets

          I feel that if a city decides they do not want a particular business there, then that is their right and privilege. McDonald's doesn't have the right to set up anywhere they please just because they're a giant corporation.

          1. Criminny Rickets

            Re: The real reason

            @Rattus Rattus "I feel that if a city decides they do not want a particular business there, then that is their right and privilege."

            I am not disputing that. Someone made the argument that they should not be allowed as McDonald's would not be following the traditional look of the neighbourhood. That is what I was disputing. If McDonald's agrees to keep the look of their storefront the same as the others, then they should not be automatically disallowed, but looked at based on their merits. If the council then decide they do not which to have a fast food outlet on that street, then they are within their rights to say no.

      7. LDS Silver badge

        Re: The real reason

        That's why "Piazza del Liberty" in Milano will be ruined by an Apple shop? I see no difference between hamburgers and phones.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: The real reason

          > I see no difference between hamburgers and phones.

          Ah, the simplistic reduction of everything to "goods and services."

          As mentioned above, what's the likelihood of fanbois dropping the packaging from their igadgets all over the streets?

          More importantly, when thinking of all things Italian, what comes to mind, food or mobile phones?

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: The real reason

            More importantly, when thinking of all things Italian, what comes to mind, food or mobile phones?
            Neither! Being shagged senseless by a Roman beauty does. The food afterwards was pretty good too, though :-)

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: The real reason

            The problem is Apple wants to be the "piazza". It designed its usual high-tech kitsch elephant to ensure nobody can't be mistaken that's not an "Apple place". But, sorry, when you build in a city which has been there for over 2500 years, it's you than need to be humble.

            Old city centers are becoming appalling similar - same shop brands and designs, often due to troglodytes who need to find them everywhere to feel reassured they are not in dangerous foreign lands, and parvenus who really believe an Apple shop is one of the seventh marvels.

          3. Fungus Bob Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: The real reason

            "More importantly, when thinking of all things Italian, what comes to mind, food or mobile phones?"

            Gina Lollobrigida

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The real reason

          > I see no difference between hamburgers and phones.

          In an emergency, I could eat the latter.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The real reason

          I see no difference between hamburgers and phones

          Thank God you're not about to invite me for anything to eat then.

          By the way, your last call left some ketchup on your ear.

          :)

        4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: The real reason

          That's why "Piazza del Liberty" in Milano will be ruined by an Apple shop? I see no difference between hamburgers and phones.

          There's an Apple shop in Florence, too. I was recently in there with a friend who was finding out that it would cost 145 EUR to put a new battery in her iPhone.

          I can see that McDonald's might be out of place in the Piazza del Duomo, but the tat-merchants of San Lorenzo (most of whom don't seem to be Italian) aren't an adornment to Florence.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The real reason

            > (most of whom don't seem to be Italian)

            Ask two Italians who is an Italian and you will get 27 different answers, five brawls, and a minor war between shifting alliances of half a dozen cities. Not easy having been at the centre of a major empire for nearly two millennia.

            However, if they defer to their mother's opinion on this (or any other) matter, they're probably Italians.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real reason

      The under the table payments probably aren't happening, hence all the drama.

      You've never been there, have you? I have, and I would agree with the mayor. It would not just defile the fantastic food there, but also the majestic art and history that permeates the whole city.

      You could spend two weeks there and you would still not have seen all that is there.

      I'm glad someone had the balls to stand up for their cultural heritage. The Vatican did not, but I have less of an issue with that as that seriously annoyed the senior cardinals who lived there - that was worth it :).

      1. sniperpaddy

        Re: The real reason

        200 years is historical in the states. My wife grew up in a house twice as old. Old Italian architecture is thousands of years old. No room for brash !!!

  2. Slx

    I don't get it!

    Why do people want to go to an amazing city in a country with one of the best cuisines on the planet and eat a Big Mac and drink a Starbucks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it!

      Because they're a certain type of American.

      In the same way that there are certain types of Brit who, on arriving in a foreign city, will immediately search out a fish & chip shop and an "English", or at least "Irish" pub...

      I believe the word is "Philistines"....

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: I don't get it!

        I worked with an American who only ate American Food even if he was in foreign parts.

        So he would go to Moscow but not to Almaty. Moscow was on because of that thing with the yellow arch.

        They want CNN and USA Today as well.

        A colleague came over from Atlanta some years back. He wasn't interested in the local cusine. He ordered in Burgers and Bud so he could watch baseball on the Internet.

        I asked him why did he bothered coming ther on holiday. His reply was to the point. 'My wife wanted to visit Oxford and Edinburgh. We were on the Isle of Skye at the time. He just would not touch the excellent food at all. He thought it was all deep fried mars bars.

        Philistines.

        Now that I think about it, they actually deserve to get Trumped.

        {and I lived there for two years...}

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: I don't get it!

          Some people just don't trust foreign food, some people are really set in their ways and don't see the need to change. I know people who after a couple of weeks of holiday want to go home and get back to familiarity. I mean I am talking the choice here is between tropical island, cheap beer, bikini wearing women, clean beaches, warm calm seas, etc etc and Leeds, they want Leeds.

          My friends went travelling in Thailand with someone who flew home after about three weeks because they could not put up with all the bugs.

          My Brother knew a French guy who spent fa couple of years in Thailand, never bothered learning Thai, never bothered learning English, I have met someone who complained that the locals had not bothered learning English, they did not speak a word of the local langauge and had been living there for over a year.

          Some people are just like that.

      2. Number6

        Re: I don't get it!

        In the same way that there are certain types of Brit who, on arriving in a foreign city, will immediately search out a fish & chip shop and an "English", or at least "Irish" pub...

        I wouldn't say "immediately", but if I'm in the area for several days, it's always interesting to see what the locals think fish and chips should be, and whether they manage to capture the pub atmosphere. That in itself is instructive, we're there looking at them, it gives some insight into what they think of us.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I don't get it!

        "I believe the word is "Philistines"...."

        Yanks and Brits? I thought Philistines came from Philistine.

        The one with the slingshot in the pocket.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      What makes you think its the abroad-tourists rather than the locals themselves and Italian "tourists" who just like McDonald's.

      It's like you going to Big Ben and then being able to get a MacD's afterwards. It has little to do with outside tourists.

      That said, unofficially, my numbers suggest taht Italy has less McDonald's per head than any other European country I've been to. My girlfriend's town in Italy, you have to drive for about 20 minutes to find one. But then, you have to drive for 30 minutes to find quite a lot of things there too.

      And if people want to come to Italy and eat US food, how different is that to people who go to America and then order an Indian or pizza with their US friends? Mix and match. If it wasn't popular, people wouldn't buy it, and it would soon go broke. If it is popular, distasteful as you might find it, that's what people WANT to buy there.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "That said, unofficially, my numbers suggest taht Italy has less McDonald's per head than any other European country I've been to. My girlfriend's town in Italy, you have to drive for about 20 minutes to find one. But then, you have to drive for 30 minutes to find quite a lot of things there too."

        In the part of Tyneside I live, I can think of 3 McDs nearby. All happen to be about a good 20 minute drive away. Sorry to rub in how lucky I am!

        Actually, there is one less than a mile away but thanks to the river, that's more like 30 minutes away.

        Now that I think about it, the only fast food chain place that is really close by is a recently opened SubWay.

      2. Blank Reg

        Probably because any McDonalds in Italy that isn't in a tourist area tends to do poorly, or even shut down.

  3. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    TTIP

    Shit like this is why TTIP must be prevented at all costs.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: TTIP

      Doesn't matter, when CETA gets in there are going to be so many Canadian subsidiaries suing the shit out of everything that so much dares to think about stopping the invisible hand.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      @JR Hartley Re: TTIP

      Something's wrong. Changing it must be prevented at all costs. Because the anti-TTIP propaganda (which may or may not look anything like the reality of it) looks like this.

      (This is happening without TTIP.)

      1. Aleph0

        Re: @JR Hartley TTIP

        >> (This is happening without TTIP.)

        Yes, but at the moment McD cannot sue the city using as a venue an arbitration panel where "judges" are mostly nominated by USA-dominated international trade/financial bodies.

        With the ISDS provisions in TTIP and CETA the odds are heavily stacked against non-U.S. entities.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TTIP

      > Shit like this is why TTIP must be prevented at all costs.

      To be fair, MacDonald's tend to be either local franchisees or actually Polish (forget the name of the company, American Foods or something, based in Wrocław... own lots of McDo, KFC, Domino Pizza, and other stuff like that).

      Still, upvoted for uncalled for escalation. :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only I could boycott McDonalds. But I have not darkened their (tasteful-and-completely-in-keeping-with-the-surroundings, natch) doorway in about 15 years anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've only been in for a poo.

      < insert 'did you get fries with that' joke here >

      1. Vic

        I've only been in for a poo.

        A poo?

        I believe Sir will find that is known as a McShit...

        Vic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And if you promise to buy something after you finish (sometimes they won't let you in otherwise), it's a McShit with lies

          h/t Viz, I think

  5. Mr Dogshit

    Tell them to burger off

    How they get away with calling their outlets "restaurants" when they don't even have cutlery I don't know.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Christoph Silver badge

    But why would they object to such an iconic cultural image as the famous Golden Showers?

    1. Triggerfish

      The golden tits of America

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Coat

        Oh..."tits" not "twits"... Twits are politicians.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        The golden tits of America
        Holy fucking Jesus! Don't tell me that there's more than one Donald Trump! Pass me that smoke. I want to die...

  7. Filippo

    *GOOD*

    "Local products only" regulations are being set up by mayors from xenophobic parties in other cities as a not-so-subtle means of hindering immigrant-run ethnic food outlets.

    I feel this practice is against art. 41 of the Constitution, freedom of enterprise, and I'm glad that an entity with money and power is going to fight it. For once, McD might be doing something good, even if unintentionally.

    1. moiety

      Re: *GOOD*

      It's Florence. The US constitution does not apply globally, despite the wishful thinking of many US citizens and not a few US judges.

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: *GOOD*

        ...You mean there isn't a Florence in Las Vegas, like the rest of Europe which appears to be there?

        And, yes, I have met Merkins in Los Angeles who do think that it's just as good to go to Las Vegas to see the sights rather than the real thing.

        And, yes-yes, I am glad that that they have built this in Las Vegas to.... (fill in the blank yourself; I have lost the the will to type)

      2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: *GOOD*

        "It's Florence. The US constitution does not apply globally..."

        Constitutions aren't the sole prerogative of the US. Indeed, many other countries have them. And you you will find Article 41 of the the Italian constitution (PDF) says:

        "There is freedom of private economic initiative. It cannot be conducted in conflict with social utility or in a manner that could damage safety, liberty, and human dignity. The law determines appropriate planning and control s so that public and private economic activity is given direction and coordinated to social objectives."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *GOOD*

          Constitutions aren't the sole prerogative of the US. Indeed, many other countries have them. And you you will find Article 41 of the the Italian constitution (PDF) says:

          "There is freedom of private economic initiative. It cannot be conducted in conflict with social utility or in a manner that could damage safety, liberty, and human dignity. The law determines appropriate planning and controls so that public and private economic activity is given direction and coordinated to social objectives."

          You've answered yourself then. Some would even argue that it's affront to dignity, but a McD is IMHO definitely not social, and planning is not made in the US, it's made local. McD is, of course, going to fight this but the mayor also has to account for the economic effect it will have on the many small businesses that DO spend money on good ingredients. Personally, I hope McD loses this one.

          1. MrDamage

            Re: *GOOD*

            Actually, I would have higlighted the "human dignity" section too.

            There is nothing dignified about McDonald's, or the amount of vermin-attracting rubbish their customers leave laying around.

            1. moiety

              Re: *GOOD*

              Thank you Brewster's Angle Grinder. I sit corrected.

      3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: *GOOD*

        There is no Article 41 in the US Constitution; there only 7. There are many amendments.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. moiety

          Re: *GOOD*

          I came to an erroneous conclusion and posted without checking, so downvote away old chap. I could delete the post and pretend it never happened; but that's not really my style.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Re: *GOOD*

      Article 41 of the Italian constitution reads as follows:

      Article 41

      There is freedom of private economic initiative.

      It cannot be conducted in conflict with social utility or in a manner that could damage safety,

      liberty, and human dignity.

      The law determines appropriate planning and controls so that public and private economic

      activity is given direction and coordinated to social objectives.

      Sounds to me like the city is exercising its "planning and controls so that [...] private economic

      activity is given direction and coordinated to social objectives".

    3. Filippo

      Re: *GOOD*

      I expected the thumbs down (though I didn't expect someone would think I was quoting the US constitution, wtf?). I'll give honest discussion a shot. So, here's the concept again, more clearly explained:

      I don't like McD and I'm not defending it. But there is a principle at stake here that is more important than hamburgers. That principle is that mayors cannot ban businesses just because they don't like them. And, make no mistake, this is exactly the point here. Florence is not banning McD because of the yellow arches, or they would just say "no yellow arches". They are also not banning McD because hamburgers aren't from Tuscany, or they'd have to ban pizzas too. Florence is banning McD because the mayor doesn't like McD for political reasons. Except that he can't do that because we have freedom of enterprise and "I don't like big American corporations" is not a social goal that can override that.

      So, he is making up a specious reason to ban McD. That is what I'm railing against. If you let this sort of abuse slide just because you also dislike McD, you're greasing a slippery slope.

      And, in fact, that slope IS here, it HAS been greased, and things ARE slipping on it, because there are other cities where the *exact same argument* is being made to ban immigrants from opening businesses, out of sheer xenophoby. I reiterate: this is not a theorical, this is actually happening.

      If you do not see now why I hope McD wins the case, even though I hate both their architecture and the things they call food, then there is nothing more I can say. Downvote away.

  8. John Lilburne

    There is an effing ...

    ... McDonald's less than 600m from Piazza del Duomo

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is an effing ...

      At least 9 branches in Florence as a whole

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they should add cheesus to the menu, that would solve all the problems.

    On a side note I note from above that the TTIP comment got downvotes, who are you people and why? This is exactly what TTIP allows but behind closed doors while the government is left biting a pillow while corporations say "I'm going in dry".

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      I downvoted. There are perfectly reasonable alternatives. One being planning restrictions - no giant yellow M, for example.

      If the people don't want it, they won't buy anything from it and it will leave. If it turns out to be popular, well then, it's popular.

      1. BongoJoe

        ...and the litter? And, that bloody smell which can only come from a McUnfood place?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          That can be regulated too. No takeaways, appropriate venting to prevent he smell leaching out.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        >If the people don't want it, they won't buy anything from it and it will leave.

        More simplistic reductionism.

        If we were talking about a startup with very limited cash reserves which naturally fitted into the environment, then perhaps. However, McD can funnel vast amounts of cash in from elsewhere to fund this venture - far more than the typically smaller Italian business is likely to have. This sort of cross-funding can ruin the atmosphere and drive out local business, with profits being funnelled abroad. To quote Ms Gomez, "I could, but why would I want to?"

        Europeans don't worship big business as Americans do. "It is profitable" is not the most important consideration. Government is in charge of strategy. Making Florence more like an American city is probably not ideal for its tourist industry as a whole.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Because they seem to be doing this without TTIP and I've read so many wild claims about what TTIP allows that my credulity has snapped.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If it turns out to be popular, well then, it's popular"

      Popular or they use sneaky manipulative marketing aimed at kids...???

      For sure its a fast lazy option for time starved people, but popular? No!

  10. davcefai
    Happy

    Good on the Italians. 35 years on I can still remember my bitter disappointment when I discovered that a Danish smorrebrod (open sandwich) restaurant in the Copenhagen Town Square had become a Burger King "outlet".

  11. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Its not just American tourists

    I read that France, home of snooty cooking traditions, is actually McDonald's best market per capita, even more so than America.

    The restaurants are well-lit and clean, the "food" is cheap and rapidly available and the quality is consistent. It is something of a marvel of modern management. Also, you have to ask why other countries with more ancient food traditions haven't been able to pull off a similar worldwide brand.

    (And sausage Mcmuffins with egg are almost diabolially good)

    1. John Lilburne

      Re: Its not just American tourists

      "I read that France, home of snooty cooking traditions, is actually McDonald's best market per capita, even more so than America."

      In Paris they tend to stick them in between brothels and sex cinemas which is rather appropriate - must remember to process that image.

      OTOH in Egypt they tend to stick them so that you can see them through the columns of Karnak Temple, which isn't.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Its not just American tourists

        I read that France, home of snooty cooking traditions, is actually McDonald's best market per capita, even more so than America.

        According to what I've read, this statistic, while true, is slightly misleading. Many French office workers are given meal vouchers as part of their remuneration. The value of these is so low that a McDonald's is one of the few things they can afford. Traditional French cuisine is as far out of reach as Michelin stars.

        Several years ago I went into a McDonald's in Salzburg (giving way to child coercion). I didn't eat, but I was delighted to discover that they served beer.

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Its not just American tourists

          @Kubla Cant

          That's part of my point though. McDonalds is rather cheap and very quick, and most people don't consistently have the time or money for a nice sit-down meal. And that holds true whether you are in Orleans or New Orleans.

          Their food is not great, I personally don't like their burgers and milkshakes, but they found a market niche and they did a fairly masterful job of meeting that need.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Its not just American tourists

      @Marketing Hack

      Downvoted you just for the sausage McMuffin remark - those things are vile and disgusting. Have you ever eaten a real sausage, for comparison?

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Its not just American tourists

        Have you ever eaten a real sausage, for comparison?
        Tonight The Git cooks real Italian sausages for dinner (Sicilian style). They weren't made in Italy, but there's no shortage of Italians here in Southern Tasmania :-)

        For the record, I have never eaten a McDonalds sausage and doubt I ever will.

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    I haven't been to Florence

    But I've been to Venice and there was a Burger King there. And a godsend it was too. After spending 3 days looking for a place that was NOT some crappy tourist quality pizza joint it was nice to find a place where we could order a burger, chips and beer (they serve beer) without being screwed over.

    Can't say I feel any sympathy for McDonalds but I know if I were in Florence I wouldn't turn the chance down of eating / drinking for about 1/3 the price of anywhere else.

    1. Jan 0

      Re: I haven't been to Florence

      Well, Pizza isn't local* food either! It takes a little more effort, but it's not that hard to eat a plate of murex from the lagoon, sarde in saor, fegato, bigoli.., etc. when you're in Venice. Maybe try walking away from St Mark's square for 10 to 20 minutes?

      *Venice is in Northern Italy, an entirely different country to the one where pizzas originated and spread. Sadly, due to tourism(?), real pizza is increasingly hard to find. P.S. I found this explanation just before the edit period expired: http://christinejwarren.com/the-blunt-truth-about-food-in-venice/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I haven't been to Florence

      "Can't say I feel any sympathy for McDonalds but I know if I were in Florence I wouldn't turn the chance down of eating / drinking for about 1/3 the price of anywhere else."

      You only have to go about 100M from the tourist drag before prices get reasonable and quality is good. Last time we went there there was an excellent local restaurant just a few metres from our hotel which was full of families and students - and the service was quite fast.

      Chain fast food restaurants like to get in, charge below cost till the competition goes out of business, and then raise prices.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: I haven't been to Florence

        Walk away from the tourists, find somewhere all the locals seem to be going, eat there. As a general rule for eating in foreign countries it has served me well, the food is usually cheaper and of a better quality.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: I haven't been to Florence

        The "tourist drag" in Venice is EVERYWHERE. And when I visited it was well before TripAdvisor, or Google Maps. I had a Rough Guide book mentioning Harry's bar and like but it's not much use when every street was twisty turny passages all alike and there are hundreds of bad places to those which are supposedly good. How many of those all featuring exclusively pizza joints and glass / mask shops do you walk past before you give up and just eat already. Yeah maybe generic-pizza-joint-#29 is better than generic-pizza-joint-#5 but how can you tell from the outside and when do you give up?

        That's the point. We'd been through 2 really crappy expensive places and were happy just to see a Burger King for an evening meal - beer, a burger, close to home. Although the best lunch we had in Venice was the day we took a train OUT of Venice to Treviso. About 15 minutes away and restaurants actually felt an obligation to serve reasonable food.

        That said I don't really care about McDonalds and their hurt feelings. They're a conglomerate. I just wish that when some mayor of some place is fighting against them that the alternative is justifiably better. I can't speak for Florence but I know in Venice it absolutely was not.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I haven't been to Florence

      If you can't find good food at reasonable-to-cheap prices in Italy you must be doing something wrong.

    4. John Lilburne

      Re: I haven't been to Florence

      I have and even in the tourist areas (we were based near the Medici Chapel) the price of food was OK, equivalent to what you'd pay in the UK. Something in the region of 15-18 euros would get some very nice indeed.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: I haven't been to Florence

        As someone who has been to Florence a few times I agree with John.

        You can get good and not hideously expensive food fairly easily even near the major tourist sites, and walking a small distance gives you cheaper options.

        Florence is not really a rip off city on touristy zone food prices compared to the likes of Venice.

  13. Ralph B
    Coat

    Pope Slamdown

    Having visited St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, I can say that the Roman Catholic church definitely has the prior claim on golden arches.

  14. Fihart

    Leaning Tower of Pee Sir ?

    Bang goes somewhere to take an emergency pee in Florence. If my experience of Rome is typical of Italian cities, cafes are happy enough to sell you a coffee but reluctant to provide a loo.

    In other European cities one can count on McD for clean loos and not making a fuss if you fail to make a purchase.

  15. Mike Richards

    That can't be a McDonald's burger

    It looks juicy and enticing rather than exhibiting all the texture and taste of a deep-fried drinks coaster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That can't be a McDonald's burger

      "It looks juicy and enticing rather than exhibiting all the texture and taste of a deep-fried drinks coaster."

      There are articles on the Internet about how food stylists manage to make it look like that in pictures. Usually the key secret is that most of it isn't, actually, cooked food.

    2. Dazed and Confused

      Re: That can't be a McDonald's burger

      OK It's over 30 years since I've "eaten" in a McD but when I've been nagged into taking kids in there I don't remember them serving chips either, only sometime called French Fries that don't look anything like a) that or b) that came out of a potato.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: That can't be a McDonald's burger

        I've been nagged into taking kids in there I don't remember them serving chips either, only sometime called French Fries that don't look anything like a) that or b) that came out of a potato.

        Your kids would certainly recognise them as 'chips' though, which might not be the case in some french restuarants, you might not be that happy with the esthetics, but your less likely to have to deal with a mortally embarassing temper tantrum from your offspring 'cause chips don't look like chips to them.

  16. ChubbyBehemoth

    How about a nice spot in the sewers?

    Surely that is about the only place where one should place MD's products. You don even need to consume it for the right taste and consistency. Though one might argue that even those are part of protected heritage and as such off limits for the blasphemers that dare call it food.

  17. Dwarf Silver badge
    Joke

    In breaking news ...

    McDonald's Clown abducted Italian Mafia involvement suspected.

    Its feared he may be found sleeping with the fishes and chained to a giant chicken Mc Nugget

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since we're all throwing in our 'bash MacDonalds' anecdotes...

    I remember visiting Czechoslovakia when it was still a communist country and the only fat people you saw were those who were clearly retired. There were no fat children. Period.

    Then, eventually, MacDonald's came - and after about 3 years I started to see fat children. Now they (the Czech and Slovak Republics) have a child obesity problem almost as bad as the UK.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: Since we're all throwing in our 'bash MacDonalds' anecdotes...

      Mickey D's is a very small part of the child obesity problem. There are a lot of other purveyors of processed/sugary/fatty foods, plus kids spend a lot more time playing indoors than they used to. That has to do with video game technology, social media and parents who get freaked out when their kid takes a fall playing tag or soccer with friends.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So many ignorant people

    All businesses have the right to exist where they want to be. All governments have the right to impose certain restrictions on those businesses. However, no government should be able to say one particular food manufacturer cannot be located there.

    All a reasonable and rational person has to do is tell them there cannot be any objectionable "Golden Arches". I have actually worked at a Burger King in Vail that was not allowed to have any outside marketing at all, just an unlit sign that said Burger King in generic black letters.

    I'm QUITE willing to bet that this town never prevented a Chinese, chicken shwarma or curry restaurant from opening. Tell me, who exactly is being problematic?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So many ignorant people - "I'm QUITE willing to bet that this town "

      Something tells me that you've never visited Florence. It's the word "town" that gives it away. It has a Duomo, it has a charter, it has Dante, it has, ffs, the Uffizi and the Museum of the History of Science with Galilieo's actual stuff. It's a city, one of the principal cities of European culture. As Dante says,

      "Godi, Fiorenza, poi che se' sì grande,. che per mare e per terra batti l'ali,. e per lo 'nferno tuo nome si spande!"

      (Rejoice, Florence, that you are so great, that over sea and land beat your wings, and in Hell your name increases!")

      "Tell me, who exactly is being problematic?"

      People who can't accept that cultural treasures, birthplaces of civilisation, science and technology, deserve a degree of protection from junk culture.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: So many ignorant people

      If it's going to be business right to plant themselves were they please versus what planning thinks is for the good of the community, then frankly I am on plannings side.

      All business have a right to go where they please, is not exactly working well in some towns for example when it comes to supermarkets. In fact I can think of a few examples where business have a right to go where they please would not be neccesarily good for the community.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So many ignorant people

      There are already nine other MacDonald's "restaurants" in Florence if one feels the urge to go there. The objection is to opening yet another one in proximity of an iconic church.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    What damages?

    The arrogance of McD really ticks me off here to be honest. They claim to have damages, but how can this be if they haven't invested anything yet? Also: if no one wants to buy your stuff (it seems most local residences agree with the mayor, I guess McD also doesn't respect democracy anymore) then how do you plan on selling?

  21. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Obligatory comic reference is, well, obligatory.

  22. Alistair Silver badge

    Mc'Ds sues ....

    ... I rather believe its also not the first time they've gone after a municipality about things like this.

    I'll note that I'm a Canuck, its not utterly relevant, but it applies later.

    a) I find that McD's food serves a purpose, usually after I've not been able to poop for three or four days. Puts a smile on the youngest's face that we get McD's and puts a smile on my face an hour or so later.

    b) Corporations have been dying for the ability to take over the entire process, from birth to death, step by step, meal by meal for the last 35 years. Possibly MUCH longer. If you owe them from the moment you're born to the moment you die, you are an asset on the ledger books, and are thus improving their stock value. McD's is likely suing not because they cannot sell, but rather that they cannot put a 3 star location on the books. It would not matter to them, considering that the piazza in question is a tourist zone, with great commercial exposure and a prime property, if the location lost money hand over fist. Its a corporate asset in and of itself.

    c) Good on the council for standing up and saying no. I hope to hell they have lawyers with the same determination. Litter, the smell, the seagulls (and I know that pigeons go there too, but the seagulls LOVE McDs' and will assault even large children going for those fries, the pigeons would be gone in a week)

    d) Banff actually has some fairly tight restrictions already encoded into local bylaws, as well as the federal park protection laws that exist. The local council is fine so long as they pay their taxes, and follow..... local law. *cough*

    e) I've not had much occasion of late to travel, but that is one Italian location I will be going to when I get over there. Being that I'll be in a foreign location, I'll very likely not have any issues with constipation. I'm fine with there only being 6 locations in the town, not actually in the centrepiece

    Apparently the Trump voters took the day off work to vote, and have had much free time to post.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Florence and the city hall

    I have all their CDs.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Florence and the city hall

      I have all their CDs.
      But do you have Florence Foster Jenkins?, America's greatest Florence!

  24. PassiveSmoking

    Where do I get a burger like the one in the photo? It looks lush

  25. David Roberts Silver badge
    Windows

    McD and Watneys

    There are reasons for the success of these.

    Firstly, the beer; back in the '50s and '60s it was very hard to get good, well kept beer because it take a degree of effort and commitment to keep a good cellar. You might learn which locals served a good pint in your area, but anywhere else was a lottery.

    Cue pasteurised beer. Watneys Red Barrel , Double Diamond, Worthington E. Go into a pub anywhere in the country and you could get a safe if uninspiring pint.

    If the local beer hadn't been crap it wouldn't have taken off. CAMERA helped to reverse the trend and now the choice is much better.

    So to the Golden Arches. Uninspiring but with two small kids in tow life is stressful enough. Having somewhere that is clean, has clean toilets and consistent food you know the kids will eat trumps (sorry) local colour and culture every time.

    In both cases I think the market is built on a safe recognisable brand. Takes away a lot of the adventure but also takes away a lot of stress. If people need a safe haven to help them to cope, then I think this is a good thing.

    Back in the day I seem to recall a coke/pepsi bar on the roof of Milan cathedral. Seemed wierd but as a school child also slightly comforting.

    I do NOT agree with the apparent attempt to force the local planners to allow international corporates to ride roughshod over them.

    McD and Red Barrel are victims of their own success ; icons of corporate blandness. Not that I've seen Red Barrel lately, nor eaten in a McDonald's.

  26. janimal

    Am I missing something?

    Under what law or agreement is it even possible for a US company to sue a local council over a planning application rejection? What's the point of planning applications at all if a global corporation can sue for damages on rejection.

    We really need to stop companies claiming precedence over democratically elected local or national government.

    1. gryphon

      Re: Am I missing something?

      It won't be McDonald's US doing the suing but a local subsidiary or franchisee.

      Have a read of Private Eye sometime to see the shenanigans that companies over here get up to with planning applications. Councillors very often override a firm NO from their planning officers for 'reasons'. And that doesn't where councillors are scratching each others backs when one has to declare a conflict of interest and can't vote on a proposal.

      On the McDonald's thing I do remember many years ago being surprised to find one in the main square in Toledo, Spain which is another historic town / city but it seemed to blend in well enough.

      As for the rubbish being dropped then perhaps part of any planning approval would be that that would be taken care of by McD staff, i.e. they would be responsible under local litter laws for a certain area and would be fined if any litter seen.

      But after saying all that if they already have 6 locations in Florence then they probably don't need another one. :-)

      1. Vic

        Re: Am I missing something?

        As for the rubbish being dropped then perhaps part of any planning approval would be that that would be taken care of by McD staff, i.e. they would be responsible under local litter laws for a certain area and would be fined if any litter seen.

        That's frequently the case - and in the public enquiry we had, McD suggested exactly that. But there were plenty of pictures of other places in town with the same requirements where the litter simply wasn't being picked up.

        These clauses are only useful if they are policed. And they aren't.

        Vic.

    2. Vic

      Re: Am I missing something?

      We really need to stop companies claiming precedence over democratically elected local or national government.

      They don't always win...

      We had to go to a public enquiry for that victory, mind. And the crap their QC and "expert" witnesses spouted in court had to be heard to be believed.

      Vic.

  27. dbastianello

    Having been to Venice soon after McDonald's was allowed in...

    Venice a beautiful city with history and architecture as far as the eye can see had changed from the times before I had been after McDonald's came in. It isn't just the golden arches that the people are trying to stop it is the mass amounts of bright yellow and red wrapping paper that is used to pack burgers and fry containers that overflow garbage bins everywhere you can see for as far as you can see that they are also trying to stop. When you use as much packing material as McDonald's does it fills bins really quick, check out this image:

    http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2010-05-21-IMG_8379.JPG

    This is a perfect example of what I am talking about, that is not the reason people go to Italy for, and come on have you ever eaten in Italy, why in hell would you choose double processed everything over the most amazing pizza in the world, never mind everything else that I would give my left nut for just for a taste. Hell I hate polenta (warm corn bread) but in Italy I couldn't get enough.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over here...

    ... we have "architecturally and historically significant" buildings that were converted in burger joints over here. No big M's on the outside, the looks were preserved, yada yada yada...

    ... but the food inside is exactly the same as any other Mac joint.

    You are not forced to buy from any supplier in a free country, IIRC.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019