McDonalds sells cheap burgers, weddings in Hong Kong

One of the many Hong Kong McDonalds. Photo courtesy of Ian Mutto (Creative Commons)

Billions and billions can attest to the fact that McDonalds has made the hamburger about as accessible and cheap as humanly possible.  And while McDonalds has for years been derided by food officials for its line of high fat, high cholesterol, and high calorie foods, few would disagree that the food giant has revolutionized the way we think about burgers, fries, soft drinks, and Fast Food writ large.

But cheap, convenient BigMacs is nothing new.  So is the McRevolution over?

Quite the contrary.  According to a recent New York Times report, McDonalds has entered the wedding business, and, not unlike its hamburger model, the low cost of a McWedding is gaining appeal.

Especially in Hong Kong, which was has ranked as the world’s least affordable city (for housing, anyways) over the past weeks.

According to the Times, the average couple in Hong Kong spends $29,200 on weddings, while McDonalds offers weddings for a fraction of that, with packages starting at $1,280.  It’s no wonder that, from a purely economic point of view, the McWedding is attractive.

As a result of a 2006 Hong Kong law change, weddings in the city can now take place outside of places of worship.  But should McDonalds be in the business of hosting weddings, or should it stick to McChicken sandwiches and the like?

The institution of the wedding has such a long and deep-rooted history, that I imagine may couples feel compelled to have a formal (or, in the case of the McWedding, informal) wedding in part just out of tradition.  And to this extent, the McWedding serves the purpose of offering a low-cost alternative.  But I wonder what the half-life of the McWedding is, and whether couples seeking low-cost alternatives to lavish weddings will instead more and more resort to small, private, intimate ceremonies.

Some McDonald’s experiments have worked to enormous economic potential, and some have not.  We’ll have to give the McWedding some time before inscribing it in the history books as a success story.

About Andrew McIntyre

Andrew McIntyre is Deputy Editor for U.S.-China Today. He received a B.A. (Music) from Emory University and an M.M. (Music Theory) from University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has previously taught at Tangshan Oriental Bilingual School, Communication University of China, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. He is currently a Dean’s Scholar, Teaching Assistant, and M.A. student (Print Journalism) at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>