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Icelanders queue up for last Big Mac

[ 2009-11-02 12:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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Noisy crowds, long queues and traffic jams plunged McDonald's restaurants in Iceland into a state of siege on Saturday, as the chain served its final burgers on the island.

Icelanders flooded the three branches of the US fast-food restaurant in Reykjavik several hours before the outlets shut for the last time. They were forced to close after the island's economic collapse caused running costs to soar.

"It's my last chance for a while to have a real Big Mac," said Siggi, a 28-year old salesperson who only gave his first name.

"With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad any time soon," he added. "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac now and then adds to variety."

"We are here to say goodbye," said Orri Hreinsson, who was sitting with two friends at a table covered with 12 cheeseburgers.

Extra staff were deployed to reinforce the outlets. Their disappearance after 16 years means Iceland will be one of the few Western countries without a presence of the ubiquitous eatery.

"I have worked here for six years, and I have never worked as hard as in these final days," one staff member said.

Jon Gardar Ogmundsson, who heads the firm Lyst, which operates the Icelandic branches, said at one point there was even a shortage of the chain's trademark Big Mac burger.

McDonald's requires all resources for its restaurants, including packaging, meat, vegetables and cheese, to be imported. The Icelandic market is too small to produce the required products.

Ogmundsson said the restaurants imported their goods from Germany, but costs had doubled because the country's falling krona currency had made imports prohibitively expensive.


1. Why did the McDonald’s outlets in Iceland close?

2. How many years were McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland?

3. Where did the McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland import their goods from?


1. The island's economic collapse caused running costs to soar.

2. 16 years.

3. Germany.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Icelanders queue up for last Big Mac

About the broadcaster:

Icelanders queue up for last Big Mac

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.