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McDonald’s Japan is one of the most popular places on Facebook

Heidi Chung

Foot traffic to McDonald’s Japan is booming.

McDonald’s locations in Japan are officially the third most tagged places on Facebook, according to data from Thinknum, a company that surfaces alternative data culled from the web.

Upon pulling and analyzing data from Facebook’s “We’re Here,” a tool to measure consumer check-ins and location sharing, more people have checked into McDonald’s Japan than the rest of the McDonald’s franchise. Social media engagement, including check-in and location tags, often serves as a proxy for foot traffic.

So what makes the list of top ten most tagged places on Facebook? They are as follows:

Most tagged places on Facebook (Thinknum)
Most tagged places on Facebook (Thinknum)

Given that there are just under 30,000 Starbucks (SBUX) stores worldwide and roughly over 37,000 McDonald’s (MCD) locations around the world, it makes sense that the two companies ranked two and four on the list, respectively. However, with only about 2,975 locations, it is surprising to think that McDonald’s Japan was able to land on number three on the list, ahead of Olive Garden (DRI) and Applebee’s (DIN).

There could be a couple of reasons for the popularity. First, McDonald’s menus are often unique in countries outside of the U.S. McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable brands around the world, and the unique menu items could be a reason to visit while traveling abroad. For instance, in France, McDonald’s offers the Blue Cheese and Bacon Burger; in New Zealand, customers can buy Georgia Pies. McDonald’s Japan has items such as the Teriyaki Burger and Ebi (Shrimp) Burger.

Tourists visiting Japan (Japan National Tourism Organization)
Tourists visiting Japan (Japan National Tourism Organization)

Finally, in addition to the unique menu items, overall tourism to Japan has been on the rise. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, from 2013 to 2018, the number of tourists has been breaking record after record. Last year, over 31 million people visited Japan. Thus, an overall surge in tourism could also be a big reason for the spiking foot traffic at McDonald’s Japan stores.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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