Eating is quite literally an essential part of life. Whether you like to stick to a few great places or enjoy exploring new eateries, you have to admit that the sense of taste is a pretty great gift to mankind. While we all have our different beloved shops, there are some restaurant chains out there that seem so famous that it’s difficult to believe that other countries don’t have them. However, facts are facts. For one reason or another, the ten amazingly popular restaurant chains below haven’t made their way across the entire world. If you go to any of these on a regular basis, you’ll be sure to be more appreciative of your convenient access after this read!

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10 Olive Garden

Olive Garden is an extremely successful American Italian-cuisine restaurant that has expanded their famous breadsticks and spaghetti to areas such as Canada, Mexico, and even as far as Malaysia. That being said, however, there are some areas of the world that the franchise just wouldn’t survive in. 

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Specifically, Italy. Who can blame the Italians for not loving the restaurant chain? After all, when you’ve had absolutely authentic pizza and spaghetti your entire life, surely you wouldn’t enjoy the American knock-off version. That being said, plenty of Italian-Americans do enjoy a good lasagna from Olive Garden for a quick and easy comfort meal.

9 P.F. Chang’s

If you’re familiar with P.F. Chang’s, then you’ll know that it’s one of the most popular American Asian restaurant chains in the world. Unlike Olive Garden, P.F. Chang’s has actually made an appearance in their country of inspiration. Although it’s just one location, P.F. Chang’s has appeared in China! 

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However, Japan is less accepting of the American style lettuce wraps and meager sushi offerings distributed by the franchise. Of course, this is hardly surprising, as Japan holds an extremely high standard in culinary perfection, and they’re rightfully rather proud of their sushi. However, the bistro has an impressive fan base in other Asian countries, such as South Korea.

8 Pizza Hut

Not only is Pizza Hut popular in America, but it covers practically every continent in its cheesy delights. In countries such as China, Pizza Hut is transformed to be an entire fancy restaurant, featuring pristine uniformed waiters and Italian-style cuisine far more than just pizza. However, there isn’t a single Pizza Hut to be found in Italy. 

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This is more than due to Italy’s distaste for fake Italian food. Overall, Italy just isn’t a big fan of restaurant chains, preferring unique places, styles, and dishes. It’s one of the reasons that Italy has special dishes that are difficult to replicate, even at other Italian joints. Almost every eatery is unique to itself!

7 Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins is a famous ice cream and dessert joint that has made its way to over fifty countries in the world. China, Mexico, Kuwait, and Canada are some places where the franchise has found a large and successful customer base. Known for its wide variety of flavors and serving options, it’s hard to imagine why any country would fail to appreciate this chain. 

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However, France is one of the few countries to turn its nose up at the ice cream. Perhaps it is due to the overflowing amount of world-famous pastries and other desserts available in the European country, but France has shown no signs of any ice cream cravings so far.

6 Wendy’s

Wendy’s is another popular fast-food chain featuring a variety of burgers and snacks. They’ve expanded into areas such as the Bahamas, Indonesia, Brazil, and India. However, one country that remains unimpressed by the classic Wendy’s Four for Four special is China. The huge population of potential customers has thus far evaded the franchise’s grip. 

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The reasoning behind this may be quite simple, as China is overflowing with fast-food chains as it is. Their citizens are already enjoying plenty of burger joints from both international and domestic sources. The truth of the matter is, Wendy’s is much too average and missed a golden opportunity of time to enter China.

5 Chipotle Mexican Grill

Although many wouldn’t consider Chipotle to be Mexican food, you can’t deny that the burrito bowls have got at least a little Mexican flavor to them. A hugely popular chain in America, the franchise has also made its way into countries such as England, Germany, France, and Canada. However, it hasn’t been able to establish itself in Mexico and China. 

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Aside from the fact that the food is overpriced, there’s just no way Mexicans would pay for a meal that they can easily make at home with authentic spices and more flavor. As for China, well, the country doesn’t have many Mexican restaurants, to begin with, so it makes sense that the franchise never reached out.

4 Taco Bell

Taco Bell is one of the most famous restaurant chains in the entire world. Offering extremely affordable Mexican snacks and meals, Taco Bell is extremely popular in North America, Brazil, and Australia. However, France and Mexico remain unimpressed with this franchise and their famous dollar cravings menu. 

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While the lack of the chain in France seems to be a lack of expansion, Taco Bell has tried time and again to enter the birth land of the taco. However, Mexicans just aren’t impressed. One critic compared the chain trying to form a market in Mexico to bringing ice for Antarctica. Mexicans just don’t have the desire for unauthentic junk food.


Kentucky Fried Chicken has expanded far out of its home state. In fact, countries such as China and Japan absolutely adore the restaurant chain, putting their own twists on the dishes offered to evoke even more popularity with their citizens. Japan even started a tradition of eating KFC on Christmas Day. However, there are still some countries out there that KFC has a hard time reaching out to. 

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One of the main resisters is Norway, where it’s very costly to introduce a new brand. Plus, the competition for restaurants is so fierce that it is quite expensive for the franchise to maintain itself and form a stable customer base.

2 McDonald's

Out of the world’s fast-food chains, McDonald’s can definitely take the win for being the most widespread and successful. People all over the world enjoy the convenience and simple pleasures of a McDonald’s burger, unhealthy as it may be. However, the massive franchise fails to succeed in Iceland. 

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While it was popular with the customers during the short time it opened, costs for maintaining the restaurants were sky-high. The reasoning behind this lies in the fact that Iceland’s struggling economy cannot support the major fast-food giant. Furthermore, all the ingredients used in the restaurant had to be imported from Germany at a tremendous cost. Sadly, the people of Iceland will have to do without Big Macs.

1 Starbucks

Lastly, we have the coffee giant of the world, Starbucks. Since its introduction, Starbucks has seen tremendous success in the majority of the world. In fact, the biggest restaurant, featuring delicious hot deli meals, is actually located in Shanghai, China. However, the franchise still couldn’t get them all in the end. Starbucks only existed in Israel from 2001-2003 before pulling out. While some believe this is due to political controversy, the truth may be much simpler. Israel, a land known for its dairy products, is actually an amazing source of coffee as well. It is highly likely that Starbucks’ failure in the country resulted from the locals’ preference for their own domestic coffee brands.

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