BELGRADE, Yutoslavia -- Police directed traffic and kept order Thursday in front of a McDonalds restaurant in downtown Belgrade as Yugoslavs lined up by the hundreds to taste genuine American hamburgers.
The $2.2 million restaurant opened its doors to the public Thursday morning making yugoslavia the first communist country to serve the American fast food.
'This is a nice place and I and my friends wanted to visit it on the opening day,' said a 16-year-old boy. 'We waited for 20 minutes to get in,' he said.
The Yugoslav state-owned Generaleksport Company of Belgrade and McDonalds Corp. entered a joint venture project with a 50-50 partnership. The contract is valid for 20 years and the newly established GENEX-McDonalds firm plans to open five outlets in the Belgrade area within three years. Later, it plans to expand throughout Yugoslavia.
The fully computerized McDonalds, with 110 young Yugoslav men and women specially trained to serve in the 250-seat outlet, will conform to the standards of the parent American company, said Predrag Dostanic, the 37-year-old manager of GENEX-McDonalds Co.
The restaurant on Belgrade's Slavija Square is the only eating place in the city where smoking is not permitted nor alcoholic beverages served.