McDonald’s opens first Asian store selling beer in South Korea

The 90-seat restaurant will only serve brews with its customisable gourmet burger

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The Independent Online

A McDonald’s restaurant in South Korea will be the first in Asia to sell alcohol, according to the Korea Herald.

The new outlet will open on Monday in Seongnam City, in the Pangyo Techno Valley, Gyeonggi province, near Seoul.

The venue is said to be the ideal place for the fast food chain to sell alcohol as the Pangyo Techno Valley area attracts a “young, hip, well-paid and tech-driven” audience, rather than its usual family-oriented crowd, according to reports.

The 90-seat restaurant will only serve brews with its customisable gourmet burger, already available in other locations in Seoul.

“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 spokesman in Korea said.

The “Signature Burger”, which McDonald’s sells as a gourmet product, allows customers to build their own burger by choosing their favourite ingredients.

If successful, the company plans to open similar stores in Gangnam and Sinchon, areas popular with young people.

The decision comes after the company witnessed a sharp drop in the number of teenage customers.

It is not the first time McDonald’s has included alcohol on its menu. The fast food chain already serves alcohol in different European locations, including France, Germany and Spain.

McDonald’s has been experimenting with new recipes and concepts this year.

It revealed plans to roll out table service in hundreds of its restaurants across the UK in a bid to compete with more upmarket rivals in January.

In Hong Kong the company unveiled McDonald’s Next. This next generation restaurant comes with a salad bar, touch screens and a table service

In October 2015, McDonald's all day breakfast brought it back from the brink when the company reported a surprise 0.9 per cent increase in sales – the first quarterly gain it had made since 2013.