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French Moving to Le Big Macs
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From Ladka Bauerova, Bloomberg News ( "It’s lunchtime in Paris, and the packed restaurant has neither checkered tablecloths nor carafes of red wine. It’s a McDonald’s, and the French are lovin’ it. While rising prices and record low consumer confidence drive the French to throw their culinary pride to the wind and embrace le Big Mac, traditional bistros are hurting. About 3,000 independent French restaurants filed for bankruptcy in the first half of the year, a record 27 percent more than a year earlier, according to Paris-based statistics office Insee. Meanwhile, France has cemented its position as McDonald’s Corp.’s biggest earner outside the U.S., accounting for 13 percent of total sales. "A hamburger patty and fries in a bistro around the corner from my office costs almost twice as much," said Alexandre Cavanel, a 27-year-old computer programmer, as he tucked into his 8-euro ($10.70) double-cheeseburger menu meal with colleagues at a McDonald’s in Paris’ Opera district." 

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