Fast-food chains rarely wade into politics. And then there’s Saudi Arabia, where McDonald’s and Domino’s just pledged their allegiance to the country’s new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Earlier this week, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced that he would be skipping over the man who was next in line to succeed him and appointing his own son, Salman, as crown prince.
Salman’s appointment has been received with mixed reactions: While many within Saudi Arabia are excited about the change that the 31-year-old prince might bring, administrators stateside have been more hesitant because of what they see as reckless behavior from Salman, which includes launching a bloody and so far inconclusive war in Yemen.
Early Wednesday morning, an unlikely player weighed in. McDonald’s KSA, which stands for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, put out a full-page advertisement in Saudi newspaper wishing the new prince “peace and prosperity.”
The ad reads:
We renew our allegiance and obedience for his royal highness, the servant of the two holy mosques, King Salman the son of Abdul Aziz Al Saud. And we support Amir Mohammed bin Salman, his son, to become Minister of Defence and Prime Minister and to be nominated as successor. God give him wisdom and equip him to rule his kingdom. With peace and prosperity, McDonald's.
There may not have been a better sign off in all of culinary history.
To be clear, it’s not entirely surprising that McDonald’s did this. After all, McDonald’s KSA, the Saudi Arabian franchise of the fast-food giant, is owned by Mishaal Bin Khalid al Saud, another prince and close relative to Salman. In addition, Saudi Arabia is known for its love for theatrics (remember the glowing orb or the five-story projection of President Donald Trump’s face on a hotel?), so having a fast-food chain dedicate a full-page ad to the ruling monarchy isn’t all that inconceivable.
In fact, when a version of the ad was posted on Twitter, users jokingly tagged other fast-food chains such as KFC, Burger King, and Domino’s asking for their pledges of allegiance, only to have the latter two outlets actually follow-up with their own tweets of support.
Now, the only question that remains is: Will KFC join in?