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New South Korea McDonald's Will Be the First in Asia to Serve Beer

This is a big deal.


It's not quite as monumental as all-day breakfast, but some South Korean fast-food fans will no doubt be glad to learn that at least one McDonald's in their country will now serve beer. According to the Chosun Ilbo, the first Korean location to sling beer will open in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province next week. It will also serve the build-your-own burgers that McDonald's has been pushing hard in the U.S. as well as China.

While this will be the first McDonald's in Asia to sell alcohol, it's not the first in the world. The international fast-food chain began serving beer in Germany back in 1971; French locations also sell beer and wine, and it's even available for purchase via the drive-thru. Beer is also available in locations across the Netherlands and Austria. So why does McDonald's offer alcohol at certain locations and not at others? According to McDonald's UK website, the company's official stance is, "We develop our menu based on what our customers tell us they like and want from a visit to McDonald's." Beer recently edged out soju to become the top-selling alcoholic beverage in Korea.

Elsewhere in Asia, McDonald's is shuttering hundreds of stores in China following food safety scandals and has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in Japan due to slumping sales. While many of the company's most recent publicity stunts — like Snapchat filters, the aforementioned DIY burger menus, and a cargo-pants wearing Ronald McDonald — have only served to prove that the fast food company doesn't quite understand millennials, serving beer may be a step in the right direction. It's certainly a far cry from a Cambridge, England McDonald's that began Breathalyzing customers to keep drunk people out.