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McDonald’s says it is opening a fast-food restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. International expansion is part of the fast-food chain’s business strategy. In fact, Vietnam will be the 38th Asian country McDonald’s is entering.  

Bob Goldin, an analyst at Technomic, says Vietnam is an obvious hotspot.

“Vietnam would be a highly attractive market for McDonald's due to its growing affluence, younger population, their increasing orientation towards certain aspects of Western culture,” Goldin says.

Other U.S. chains have picked up on that. Kentucky Fried Chicken has been in Vietnam for years and Starbucks entered back in February, says RJ Hottovy, an analyst at Morning Star. So why did McDonald’s take so long?

The company looked at it about 10 years ago but had concerns about whether or not there would be appropriate suppliers for their beef products and whether there was enough supply chain to get their products to different restaurants,” Hottovy says.

Hottovy ads that there was also lingering anti-American sentiment. In fact, the restaurant was banned from Hanoi in the mid-1990s. But all that’s changed and, Hottovy says, the time is right for McDonald’s to step into the market.