Thousands line up for last Big Mac in Iceland

Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:19pm EDT
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By Omar Valdimarsson

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Thousands of Icelanders lined up at McDonald's restaurants to order their last Big Macs before the U.S. fast-food chain abandons the crisis-hit island at midnight Saturday due to soaring costs.

The world's largest fast-food company said earlier this week that all three of its restaurants in Iceland, operated by franchisee Jon Ogmundsson, would shut down October 31.

The outlets have been packed since the announcement, with lines at one restaurant on the east side of the city backing up out the door and onto the street.

At lunchtime Friday the outlet's parking lot was full and staff inside were working furiously to keep up with the soaring demand.

"It's my last chance for a while to have a real Big Mac," Siggi, a 28-year old salesman waiting in line, told Reuters.

"With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad any time soon," he added. "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac now and then adds to variety."

Ogmundsson, who will continue running the restaurants under a different name after taking down the golden arches, said he had even run out of Big Macs for a few hours Thursday.

"Sales have not just gone up," Ogmundsson was quoted saying in the local media. "It's gone turbo."   Continued...