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French fries return to Venezuela’s McDonald’s, at a steep price

AP Photo/Reed Saxon
Get ’em while they’re hot.
By Frida Garza
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

McDonald’s french fries are back on the menu in Venezuela, after a ten-month hiatus due to a massive currency devaluation that made it prohibitively expensive to import foreign-grown potatoes.

While potatoes were off the menu at McDonald’s, customers could order yuca fries instead:

A spokeswoman for Arcos Dorados, a large Latin American McDonald’s franchise owner, told the AP that the fries were coming back this month because the company had finally managed to source potatoes locally. McDonald’s trumpeted the return of the golden french fries on social media, counting down the days until their return.

But the cost of the french fries may still be may still be prohibitive for many Venezuelans. A price of 400 bolivars for a small order of fries is equal to about US$1 at black market exchange rates, in a country where the monthly minimum wage is only valued at about US$12.

Some Venezuelans are suspicious about the timing of the french fries’ return, the AP reported. Parliamentary elections are four weeks away, and Venezuela’s ruling socialist party—in danger of losing control—has made several consumer-friendly announcements.

Arcos Dorados was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Quartz.

Here’s a peek at happier days in Venezuela for the Golden Arches, from 1995:

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