Several Burger Kings and Starbucks join the exodus

  • I disagree, both clearly fill a role in the market. Whether one person likes them or not is unimportant and considering many independent cafes and restaruants are also collapsing, I doubt there will be anything replacing them, just an empty building and job losses. Truth is, many people prefer Starbucks over a normal cafe. Those people, such as teens, who went to Starbucks just won't go and sit in a regular cafe. In other words, their business and role in the economy is gone. They also won't replace Burger King with an independent restaraunt. The only problems Burger King leaving solves are problems for McDonalds and Mostaza, making their life easier.


    Edit to add. Love them, loathe them, or indifferent, those companies leaving Argentina is another indicator of what's happening here and where the economy is heading.

  • IMHO, Splinter , this is a silver lining. Argentina is better off without these particular food outlets. I hope local cafes take their places.

    Don't fall for Cristina's logic, Rice.


    She sold it many times: less multinationals, more and better jobs for Argentinians. But the reality never supported her view, and the truth is that Argentinian slipped from 1st world to 3rd world in a matter of decades.


    Argentinian businesses were light years behind before multinationals arrived (I am talking of these outlets which are in contact with the end-users, not about soy corporations). They helped raise the bar a little. There have been more fancy Argentinian independent places, as a result.

    But the push from businesses from the outside world can be also good.


    It's true that IKEA pushed many out of market, but those who stayed had to raise the bar. We recently had some custom-furniture done. It was a cheap job but I didn't choose the carpenter because of the price, but because it was the only one who was open to do something customized to my taste in terms of appearance. One would think that in this poor country there is a fierce competition for a job well paid, but the truth, it is not.

    Still, even with the best intention, the carpenter under-delivered in many aspects: the doors all opened the wrong directions, I asked for a specific color and brought the paint tin, and he used a different hue (because...), I asked for special hinges, he quoted (and I paid) for those but he installed regular ones... etc.


    So the question was - if there was IKEA, would have I bothered with all this stress? The answer is no.

    I was truly happy to give a big job to a modest family, but the truth is their performance isn't simply there.


    Another example: on Friday morning I write a whatsapp to a print shop on Armenia about printing on US Letter format. I need to ship the documents to the US that same day. They replied in Monday evening that they would do it, but I had to bring the paper. 4 days for a simple whatsapp reply, and this time in a fancy print shop in Palermo Soho.

    Either they don't need the money or are not equipped for business.


    Another example: Noche de las pizzerias, a Venezuelan pizza place using sour dough was advertising their big pizza for the price of their small pizza. They have Instagram, facebook and their own website with an order platform that cuts off intermediaries such as Rappi, PedidosYa, and Glovo. Very clever! Except that their system collapsed, the website was down, their phone was down, nobody updated the FB/IG page to explain clients about the issue (could be done from a mobile phone).

    Anyway, they say they'll do the same offer on the next Tuesday. We order, and the estimated delivery time is 90' (YES, NINETY MINUTES) or 60' if you go pick it up in person. What kind of business let you wait one hour for a F*** pizza?

    The pizza arrived at 90', cold, with a sheet of paper glued to the pizza base. We were unable to remove it, ate the paper twice and then threw it away.

    Last night I decided to be proactive and place the order at 7:30 PM. Estimated delivery time 65'. Two hours later nothing has arrived, we call the store, they say they are doing it exactly when we called (.... seriously?!). So we canceled because it was already 9PM and we can't wait 10.30 PM to have pizza.

    I left them an angry message on their last IG post. Do you think they'll care?! No.


    Another example: hair salon in Las Canitas, 21k followers on FB, posts of great hair they do etc. They still have their old address on FB. I booked an appointment and went to the wrong (old) address and didn't find the place. I wrote a length message on their FB to explain. They read it 4 days later. They didn't even telephoned me when I didn't show up to know about my whereabout.

    They replied on FB that they were sorry and the correct address is now XXXX. Their FB page still has the old (wrong) address after a month.

    I finally booked another appointment and went there. I also bought a hair treatment for home. They gave me their business card... with the old address.


    So, I am sorry but there is no miracle in sight for Argentina and not just because of Cristina or el Profe...

  • I do understand what you both are saying, and pages of other examples of poor service are on the local service thread also.


    Hurricane Katrina devastated our home town of New Orleans; in its aftermath no one knew whether the city would be rebuilt or, as some philistines suggested, left in ruins. The historic French Quarter was filled with shuttered businesses. Suddenly Starbucks appeared, trying to rent a prime location by the cathedral. After much controversy and many verbal battles, the city concluded that, despite the need for new businesses, the change Starbucks would bring to the character of the French Quarter was not in the City’s best interest.


    When Burger King and McDonalds started carving out their niche in Argentina, parents began taking their children for ground-whatever-burgers that cost more than a real piece of meat with vegetables cost at a local restaurant. Then a few years ago, Starbucks moved in, bringing the very non-Argentine ‘go cups’ for overpriced carryout coffee on the run.


    Both of these have changed Argentine customs, and not for the better. My lack of regret at their leaving is based on a long term cultural criticism, not on the admittedly detrimental effect of job loss, and not out of any optimism about a sudden change of business models to include the novel concept of better service.

  • I have to agree with serafina , although what she says doesn't really have a bearing on these closures, which is a completely different matter. Normally people flock to Starbucks and Burger King, so one has to wonder why they are closing.

    I'm not a fan of Starbucks and much prefer a traditional cafeteria, but that's just me. As for Burger King, love em!

    As for the general malaise with suppliers, it's mind boggling quite frankly.

  • With Argentina’s beef culture and the availability of really good, affordable meats, you seriously love Whoppers??? Splinter , I highly recommend that you start paying regular visits to our neighborhood, aka Villa Freud!

  • With Argentina’s beef culture and the availability of really good, affordable meats, you seriously love Whoppers??? Splinter , I highly recommend that you start paying regular visits to our neighborhood, aka Villa Freud!

    I'm afraid Argentine beef is nothing like what it used to be and I'm really not keen on it any more. Much prefer some nice pork and all the other asado stuff.

    Besides, a burger is a burger and Burger King's are far better than McD's. Having said that, Burger King do a lovely lomito in a sandwich, which is delicious.

    I actually love quick food.

  • I'm afraid Argentine beef is nothing like what it used to be and I'm really not keen on it any more. Much prefer some nice pork and all the other asado stuff.

    Besides, a burger is a burger and Burger King's are far better than McD's. Having said that, Burger King do a lovely lomito in a sandwich, which is delicious.

    I actually love quick food.

    Me too, I am a sucker for fast food. I have tried all the so-called amazing burger places here and I would choose a Burger King everytime. I also like Mostaza.

  • Burger 54 is very popular in Zona Norte because they are all home made and I've yet to sample one.


    Good but not great. More expensive than the famous fast food brands. That because you buy the burger, fries, and drink all separate. I think it’s trying cross an independent hamburger joint with McDonald’s. Dean and Denny’s is another in the same mold but also only just ok and not great.

  • I have to agree with serafina , although what she says doesn't really have a bearing on these closures, which is a completely different matter. Normally people flock to Starbucks and Burger King, so one has to wonder why they are closing.

    You are correct. My point is that contact with foreign business/enterprises help improve the skills of the locals and raise the bar.


    The carpenter I hired had never heard about cabinet hinges that open more than 90 degrees. The wife said ' it is simply impossible because the door is in contact with the cabinet frame'. I took out my phone, opened Mercadolibre and found plenty of advertising about 120-165 - 180 degree hinges.

    Her comment was 'but it costs more!', instead of seeing an opportunity to 1) make money 2) upselling to future clients.

    And in the end they installed the hinges only on one door.


    Now, while big corporations wipe many small businesses, I'd like to think that people who are serious about their business would take a close look at their competitors' offers. There isn't simply a place for people who cannot do the very job they have chosen!



    So maybe someone who worked at Starbucks for 6 months learned how to make a quality coffee, and the difference between various beans and will open their own place drawing from what they have learned.

    If you think about the most innovative places in Argentina (many are in Palermo and Zona Norte), the story behind them it is always 1) owners who took a trip abroad / lived abroad, returned to Argentina and wanted to start doing things they have seen abroad 2) foreigners.

  • Good point, serafina . But to “ I'd like to think that people who are serious about their business would take a close look at their competitors' offers. There isn't simply a place for people who cannot do the very job they have chosen!“ I’d have to say, sadly, there does seem to be a place, and they’ve found it.