One of the biggest chains in the fast food world, McDonald's, could soon be opening its first restaurant in Dubrovnik. With the news that the Port of Dubrovnik will receive massive new investment as contracts have been signed with Global Ports Holding and the fact that the project for the new port building includes a shopping centre it is believed that McDonald's have shown interest in entering.
The McDonald's franchise owner in Croatia, Globalna Hrana Ltd, stated in 2013 that they had no future plans to open a restaurant in Dubrovnik. The reasons given at that time were it wasn’t commercially feasible and that Dubrovnik was isolated from the rest of the country. However it seems that they have changed their tune, the new port building with its shopping centre and high traffic of passengers has turned their heads. The PR for Globalna Hrana Ltd Ivana Sapina commented that “Above all one of the most important goals of McDonald's in Croatia is to enlarge our offer in Croatian cities. We are very pleased with the expansion of McDonald’s restaurants in Croatia and we aim to continue this development.”
Rumours are abound that McDonald's have been waiting for such a development to surface in Dubrovnik, one that has a high turnover of people and that will attract both tourists and locals. “Whenever the right business opportunity appears McDonald's is ready and willing to take advantage. Dubrovnik is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Croatia,” added Sapina.
This change of direction for McDonald's in Dubrovnik is probably due to the fact that 1.3 million cruise ship passengers pass through the Port of Dubrovnik every year. It could also be connected to the planned shopping centre in the Port of Dubrovnik which has already caught the interest of many world known brands. The whole investment into the Port of Dubrovnik project is reported to be worth over 93 million Euros. In the autumn of 2016 works will begin on the project and the plan is to complete the port and connected buildings by 2018.