KFC Sets Up Shop in Myanmar, One of the Last Frontiers for U.S. Brands

Plus 8 other fast-food joints in surprising places

How do you say, “Finger lickin’ good” in Burmese? It may not translate literally, but KFC is hoping its secret fried chicken recipe will bring in customers when it opens shop in Myanmar, one of the last frontiers in Southeast Asia for U.S. brands.

KFC parent company Yum Brands plans to open its first Burmese franchise next year. In fact, very few global brands have a presence in Burma, or Myanmar as it's known, because it is just now emerging from years of military rulers and international sanctions.

KFC’s move into Myanmar is part of its push into 118 countries that produced $13 billion in global sales last year. The BBC reported there are 14,000 KFC restaurants in emerging markets that include India, China and most recently Bolivia. 

It’s a big world out there, and Yum Brands, which also owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, opens five restaurants a day.

So, in what other out-of-the-way places have U.S. fast-food brands established a foothold?

  • Pizza Hut planted a flag in the International Space Station with a historic delivery.
  • There’s a Taco Bell in Bangalore, India.
  • TGI Friday's, Jakarta is a thing.
  • Wendy’s opened a shop in Roppongi, Tokyo (with lobster and caviar burgers, no less).
  • Dunkin’ Donuts has an outpost in Denpasar, Bali.
  • Arby’s is in the Arab world, including in Turkey and Qatar.
  • Subway serves Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • McDonald’s serves Big Macs near the Palace of Versailles in France; below the Museum of Communism in Prague; in the middle of the Negev desert in Israel; outside Windsor Castle in the U.K.; and inside a decommissioned DC-3 in New Zealand.