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Why is there no McDonalds in the Cayman Islands?

McDonalds in the Cayman Island

Despite being the quintessential bastion of capitalism why is there no McDonalds in the Cayman Islands? The simple answer to this is that there is already a restaurant called McDonalds and the guy does not want to sell the name. The longer answer involves slightly more nuance.

And why am I and expert in this subject? Because between 2001 and 2004 I lived in Georgetown Grand Cayman while working at Bacchus Wine Bar. One might even say that it was living there that in part set me on the journey that would lead to not just, but, and all the rest…..

So, why is there no McDonalds in the Cayman Islands?

As previously stated there is already a restaurant called McDonald’s and he is nor prepared to give up the name. His restaurant, which I have actually been to served traditional Caymanian and Caribbean type stuff. Think Jerk Chicken and the like.

But surely McDonalds could get around this right? Perhaps by doing a Hungry Jacks type deal? Well the way things work in the Cayman Islands is that a few pretty rich families own a lot of shit. One of these families owns the Burger King franchise and they have no need, or intention for competition. And that is the slightly more nuanced reason why you cannot get a Big Mac on Grand Cayman.

Rum and Pepsi please…

Amusingly and something that I learned when I was bartending in the Cayman Islands was that all the bars and restaurants use Pepsi rather than coke and this has been the way since year dot. This means that when people order drinks they naturally say Vodka Pepsi, or Rum and Pepsi.

This is real evidence of how brand aware we are and can be. Coke is now available in stores and supermarkets, but this is another area where people really do not want to give up their monopoly….

Whats the best burger in the Cayman Islands then?

Having now not lived there for exactly 20 years this October, and my only connection being a company I have registered there I really do not know. I do know though that the dining scene in the Cayman Islands is epic and that the best burger is probably not found at a franchise.

I will though give a big up to Wendy’s who pretty much fed me with their dollar menu when I first moved to the Cayman Islands. Perhaps the most underrated franchise on the planet.