It has been a bad PR week for two of America’s largest fast-food chains in Germany. Not long after we reported Burger King’s tasteless marketing campaign to Dachau visitors, news spread about a McDonald’s location in Mannheim routing Turkish customers to a shady part of town for their food.
Signs were posted outside of a specific McDonald’s that was set to go out of business, and while the German language sign routed people to an upper class part of town, the Turkish sign directed customers in quite the opposite direction. The move was instantly called out as racial segregation, but franchise owner Manfred Büch is firing back, calling it all a misunderstanding.
Büch argued that he and his store has always been inclusive, and that the two locations on the signs were meant for all ethnicities. There allegedly was not rhyme or reason for which languages matched up with a specific location, and Büch claims that there wasn’t enough space on each sign to include both languages.
As concerns made their way to McDonald’s headquarters in Germany, the company sided with Büch, offering praise for the quick response in correcting the misunderstanding.