TOKYO -- What do you call the world-famous hamburger chain with the golden arches? That was the question on the ballot in a recent "referendum" conducted by McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan).
There were two candidates: "Makku," the Japanese word for Mac or Mc, and "Makudo," which sounds almost like the French nickname for the restaurant, "McDo."
The battle over the two nicknames ended with 49% supporting Makku and 51% Makudo -- despite the fact that the latter nickname is common only in 11 western Japan prefectures, including Osaka.
Given the outcome, part of the company's Japanese website is now written in "Kansai-ben," or western Japan dialect, with a rare greeting message from CEO Sarah Casanova in the dialect for a week until Aug. 28. This was a campaign promise.
The company prepared two special menus for the referendum -- roast beef burgers for Makku to represent Tokyo in eastern Japan and beef cutlet burgers for Makudo to represent Osaka in western Japan. Customers were asked to tweet and/or retweet the names of the burgers to show their support.
MOS Food Services, a major Japanese competing burger chain, said on Tuesday that it will invite customers to vote for their favorite "local burgers" featuring local specialties. The restaurant chain operator will offer two special burgers, based on ideas submitted by employees at its outlets across Japan starting in September, including a burger with a deep-fried pork cutlet topped with a sauce made with "Kitami shoyu" (soy sauce) that is commonly used in the city of Kitami in northern Hokkaido. A second round with two different burgers will begin in October.