Burgers and booze: S Korea McDonald's first in Asia to sell beer

Burgers and booze: S Korea McDonald's first in Asia to sell beer
McDonald’s Korea’s Signature Burger outlet in Seoul (McDonald’s Korea)
PHOTO: The Korea Herald

SINGAPORE - From Gangnam style to K-pop's fashion invasion - the South Koreans have done it again.

This time with beer.

According to media reports, a McDonald's outlet in South Korea will start selling OP Premier draft beer later this month to lure younger clientele.

The outlet in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province will be the first in Asia to sell alcohol. It will also add gourmet "Signature Burgers" to its menu.

"We have concluded that it is time for a 'burmaek' (a compound of 'burger' and 'maekju' -- beer in Korean), just as Korea has become the epicenter of 'chimaek' (chicken and beer) and 'pimaek' (pizza and beer) craze," a McDonald's Korea spokesman said, The Korea Herald reported.

Currently, beer is served in Germany McDonald outlets while wine is served in French ones.

If the new additions take off in South Korea, there will be plans to open similar stores in Gangnam and Sinchon - areas popular with the young in Seoul, Foxnews reported.

Foxnews added that the decision comes after the fast food chain saw a sharp drop in the number of teenage customers.

Seeing that the legal drinking age in South Korea is 19, we aren't too sure how this move will see a growth in the youth clientele.

But South Koreans are less likely to complain.

You see, they love their alcohol.

According to Business Insider, South Koreans drink twice as much liquor per capita as any other country.

In fact, the country came up tops, with locals chugging down 11.2 shots per week.

The Russians come in next with 5.0 shots per week while the Thais do Southeast Asia proud with 4.8 shots per week.

So burgers and booze? Sounds like a good idea.

This is not the first time McDonald's in South Korea has seen a need to revamp its image.

According to Quartz, protestors gathered outside a Seoul outlet around 10 years ago, complaining that the fast food chain encouraged children to eat unhealthy food. Just last year, there was another protest against the company for its low wages.

debwong@sph.com.sg

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