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Belarus Meets Texas Chicken

On May 1, in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, locals turned out in huge, hungry numbers for the opening of a new fast-food restaurant. After free meals were offered, the opening day of business was a hectic one for Belarus's first Texas Chicken.

People hoping to get through the doors had to arrive early.
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People hoping to get through the doors had to arrive early.

Belarus is no stranger to American fast food. The former Soviet state already has eight McDonald’s restaurants. KFC, which opened its first outlet in Minsk last year, plans to open “up to 20” restaurants by 2018. 
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Belarus is no stranger to American fast food. The former Soviet state already has eight McDonald’s restaurants. KFC, which opened its first outlet in Minsk last year, plans to open “up to 20” restaurants by 2018. 

The doors opened to a surge of hopeful diners. 
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The doors opened to a surge of hopeful diners. 

Free meals were offered to customers who made it to the counter within 30 minutes of the doors opening. 
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Free meals were offered to customers who made it to the counter within 30 minutes of the doors opening. 

Hectic scenes ensued. 
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Hectic scenes ensued. 

This young woman looks happy to have made it through the crush, but Belarus may be worried about the popularity of fast food outlets like this one. Obesity rates among females in the country are the highest in Europe. 
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This young woman looks happy to have made it through the crush, but Belarus may be worried about the popularity of fast food outlets like this one. Obesity rates among females in the country are the highest in Europe. 

Belarus also has the world's highest per capita consumption of potatoes. 
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Belarus also has the world's highest per capita consumption of potatoes. 

The owners seem to have been prepared for the crush their promotion caused. It looks almost as busy on the other side of the counter.
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The owners seem to have been prepared for the crush their promotion caused. It looks almost as busy on the other side of the counter.

A young woman holds her coveted meal aloft as she makes her way back through the crowd. 
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A young woman holds her coveted meal aloft as she makes her way back through the crowd. 

A gift certificate on the counter, awaiting its transformation into fried chicken.
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A gift certificate on the counter, awaiting its transformation into fried chicken.

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