McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway Theories of War

I think the first franchise theory of war that I heard about was that no two countries with McDonald’s had ever gone to war. Unfortunately for its proponents, the United States and Serbia both had McDonald’s during the 1999 Kosovo War and Israel and Lebanon did as well when they fought in 2006. (The wiki list of McDonald’s and when they opened is here)

What are other alternatives? Both Starbucks and Subway are viable alternatives.

Have two countries with Starbucks gone to war? This is from a February 2008 Starbucks list:

Company-operated: 1,796 stores, including company-operated, in Australia,
Canada, Chile, China (Northern China, Southern China), Germany, Ireland,
Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Joint Venture and Licensed stores: 2,792 in Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain,
Brazil, Canada, China (Shanghai/Eastern China), Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan,
Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau S.A.R., Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia,
South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and
the United Kingdom.

Neither Serbia nor Israel is on this list. Starbucks only had stores in Israel for a short time, 2001-2003. Had the Israeli stores succeeded, this theory too would have fallen on the Israel-Lebanon war but Starbucks looks safe thus far.

What about Subway restaurants, now the most numerous franchise in the world?

Subway opened in Lebanon in 1997. It also has outlets in Israel today. But this 2009 article says Subway was in Israel 1992-2004 and then closed. It did not re-open in Israel until 2009.

Subway opened in India (Dec 2001) and Pakistan (possibly 1998) so Subway just missed the Indo-Pakistani war of 1999. So Subway (barely) seems safe as well.

Of course the comparison is a little unfair with McDonalds in about 130 countries and Starbucks in only about 50. Subway is in almost 100.

I have just done a quick check. I welcome other comments about countries and wars I missed.


One Comment to “McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway Theories of War”

  1. There’s another “Starbucks Theory.” It was proposed by Larry Schweikart, history professor at the University of Dayton, and mentioned in a discussion about his book, A Patriot’s History of the Modern World. See (a C-SPAN presentation based upon a talk at the Heritage Foundation).

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