Iranian restaurants are bizarrely similar to their American counterparts -- and now KFC is trying to shut one down

In Iran, there are many imitations of popular restaurant chains, the New York Times reported.

“We are trying to get as close as we can to the McDonald’s experience,” the owner of a restaurant called Mash Donald’s told the Times. 

“No genuine American food chain has an outlet in Iran, mainly because of the government’s hostility and the sanctions that make such businesses impossible,” according to the Times.

Pseudo-American chains in Iran include Pizza Hat, Burger House, and KFC — Kabooki Fried Chicken.

But now, the real KFC — Kentucky Fried Chicken — is suing its Iranian knockoffs, according to The Washington Free Beacon. The Beacon reports that a Yum! Brands spokesperson informed the news site that the brand is preparing to force the faux-KFC locations to shut their doors.

“We were shocked with the news that an illegitimate KFC outlet opened in Tehran, Iran,” the spokesperson told the Free Beacon. “No franchise rights have been granted to any party in Iran.”

One similar chain — KFC Halal — closed its doors last week, The New York Post reports. The Post notes that an Iranian news company, Tasnim, claimed the store was shuttered because it boasted too much of an American spirit. However, KFC Halal claims it is not an American company at all — that it’s its own business.

“This restaurant has no connection with the American KFC company,” KFC Halal manager Abbas Pazuki told Tasnim, via The Post.

To get an idea of closely many of these chains resemble American brands, look no further than Cafe Raees (or Raees Coffee) — which might not sound like anything familiar to Americans, but the picture from the cafe’s Facebook page and Instagram account tell all.

There’s a stark similarity to the ubiquitous Starbucks…

PostbyCafé Raees . کافه رئیس.

This is the outside:

PostbyCafé Raees . کافه رئیس.

 Here’s what it looks like inside:

PostbyCafé Raees . کافه رئیس.

 The beverages look very similar.


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