Monday, July 26, 2010

North Korea's "First" Fast-Food Restaurant Opens

The Chosun Ilbo reports this, but I think they might possibly mean first "western" fast food restaurant.  Some Koreans might argue that all fast food is "western" because it is unhealthy and no tradition Korean food is unhealthy for you... right...  I also thought I read this exact same story over a year ago.  Not sure what that was then.
North Korea's first fast-food restaurant selling hamburgers and waffles has opened in the center of Pyongyang. Although there are hamburger joints in North Korea, this is the first full-fledged franchise-style fast-food restaurant there.
The Choson Sinbo, a Pyongyang mouthpiece in Japan, last Saturday reported the fast-food restaurant opened at the Kumsong Intersection in Pyongyang early last month and plans to open a branch in downtown Pyongyang in the near future.
According to the newspaper, the restaurant has an "affiliation with a Singaporean company specializing in waffle joints." The Singaporean company supplies only the facilities, while the local operation hires staff and supplies raw materials.
"Before the restaurant opened, staff were trained on cooking and service techniques by a staffer dispatched from the Singaporean company, but it developed food with new flavors after repeated tasting and sampling," the newspaper wrote.
The menu lists chiefly hamburger and waffles plus various carbonated drinks and Kumgang draft beer.
Food prices were fixed "at an affordable level," it said. A hamburger and bun is 190 North Korean won and a mug of Kumgang draft beer 76 won. The average monthly pay of ordinary North Korean workers is reportedly about 3,000 won. The price of each hamburger is similar to that of 100 g of rice (about 200 won) in North Korea and much cheaper than a piece of illegally imported South Korean choco pie (500 won).

The photo is from the Choson Sinbo, a North Korean sponsored newspaper put out in Japan.

How the heck do the average North Korean workers get their hands on black market South Korean choco pies?  That is hilarious.  More power to the North for finally getting a franchise fast food joint.  Hopefully Dear Leader Kim will mellow out just a bit and cut the people of that poor country some slack and allow more places like this to open.


chris said...

"Officials overseeing the complex apparently confiscate one out of two Choco Pie snacks that are given to North Korean workers. "One day, I saw North Korean workers collecting empty Choco Pie boxes and found out that they were filling each of them up with dozens of Choco Pies they confiscated and were exporting them to China as new products," the worker said. "

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