Iran’s Renegade Restauranteurs Run Wild!

Not only is Iran isolated from most of the rest of the world by its religio-political stance and its support of Islamic revolutionary causes. Now its foodservice sector entrepreneurs appear to be operating outside the bounds of international commercial law, common sense and tasteful mimicry…

Bogus Iranian fast Food Brands - © and BuzzFeed Community

Mash Donalds? Pizza Hat? Kabooki Fried Chicken? Burger House?

We’ve noted, in the past, the emergence of bogus ripoffs of big commercial fast food chain brands, not the least of which was Burger King. Now a mega rip-off has surfaced in Iran – a marketplace in which western brands don’t operate and, apparently, western copyright, trademark and patent laws don’t apply.

However… Aside from ripping off the Big Brand names and logos, there’s little that’s familiar about their stores or their menus. Here’s the most comprehensive roundup we could find.

Behold Mash Donalds…

Yeah, they do burgers. But that’s about the extent of it. Other menu faves include the Felafel Sandwich (1.5 foot-long version for the equivalent of (US)$3.75) and the Baguette Burger, featuring Beef, Cheese and a Ham-like Turkey product (About (US)$3. The incongruities just keep on rollin’ from there.

It would all be a huge laugh – if the west had not just concluded a nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran, opening the possibility for future western economic participation in the country. traditionally, the global (generally U.S.-based) fast food chains are first into new markets that open up. There’s speculation that McDonald’s (the real one) is already planning to push out into the Iranian market. But only vague gestures have yet been made in that direction. The company recently released a a statement saying only that, “We have not set a firm date for the development of McDonald’s restaurants in Iran.” The chain had outlets there before the Islamic Revolution. Why not now? Why not all the other ripped-off western brands? But then… What of Mash Donalds? and all the thriving pretenders?

We’ll keep an eye on this one for you… Meanwhile, here’s an in-depth story from the NY Times on the Bogus Brands phenomenon with some delicious insights into the people behind them…

~ Maggie J.