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A healthy conversation with colleagues during a not-so-healthy meal gave us the idea for our newest topic. The results? Check it for yourself!

We work restlessly to bring you the best and most interesting facts about escape rooms, spending long hours researching and putting all that information together. Although it seems to be a really fun job to do, it’s not always easy. And what do you get when you work reall hard? You become hungry, of course. So we have decided to pop into a local McDonald’s to grab some old fashioned carbohydrates to boost our creativity.

Between two bites, we were chatting about how interesting the idea of comparing countries is based on the local price of Big Mac. Might be a good tool for us as well? Last time we have dug deeper into the American market which was quite easy. But not all of the European countries have the same currency, which makes the comparison between them hard.

For our readers who are only here for the infographics, let’s jump to the results which we think are quite tasty indeed. If you are also interested in recipe and the spices of what we prepared for you today, you are welcome to scroll down for the detailed article below!

The Big Mac Index of Escape Rooms

Building the sandwich

So again, we have checked the prices of every venue we had in our site in the old continent at the time of writing (since it is constantly growing, might not be exactly accurate when you read this). We have concluded that the number of players per team during an average gameplay is 4. That's why the price heatmap of price per person is based on a four-membered game.

Tops and bottoms held no suprises. The most expensive countries are Iceland ($38.4 average), Luxembourg ($37.3) and Norway ($33.4). You can play for the cheapest prices in Ukraine ($4.2), Poland ($7.2) and Macedonia ($7.4).

To get a better understanding about prices in areas, we have divided Europe into four regions based on the United Nations Statistics Division’s geoscheme. Then we have compared the average prices of each of them to the EU’s average, which, according to our estimations, is about $21 per game per person. Like in other aspects, western and northern counties show many similarities to each other, and southern and eastern countries are comparable to each other as well.

Considering local prices (in US dollar), you can have the cheapest Big Mac in Russia for $1.5 and the most expensive one for $6.4, in Switzerland. See how big the difference can be between two countries on the same continent?

And here comes the juicy part of the Big Mac. If you have never heard about it, the Economist measures the purchasing power parity and publishes it in a semi-humoruos way since 1986. Basically it shows how many Big Macs can a person of average icome buy in a given country. In our opinion, this is an excellent way to illustrate a hard-to-understand (macro economical) problem in a simple way. That's why we have chosen this index as the basis of our calculations.

In Belarusia, for the local price of 2.7 Big Macs you can have an hour of fun in an exit game. Meanwhile you have to pay the price of 7.5 burgers to enjoy an escape game in Denmark. That would be a nice challenge to consume. But let’s not stop at just converting prices to burgers.

We can also take the average salaries in each country into consideration. After collecting this data, we have created an index that shows how many hours you should work for buying a Big Mac and how many for playing an hour of escape game.

Interesting results

Interesting facts

Generally in Europe you have to work half an hour for a Big Mac (but how long you should work out after having a Big Mac?!) and 155 minutes for an escape game, which is about 2.5 hours, the length of an average movie. Of course, this average does not reflect most countries, so we have listed the most interesting facts we have come across:

  • It takes 25 minutes work in Spain to have a burger, just the same time as running from a raging bull on the streets of Pamplona.
  • French people spend almost the same time, 100 minutes, in the queue at the Eiffel Tower as working for an escape games.
  • You have to work 155 minutes in Hungary to buy a ticket to an exit room. It’s the same amount of time required to prepare a nice Goulash soup, which is way tastier than a Big Mac.
  • There is almost a tie for the top position regarding worked minutes (not hours) for a Big Mac. Switzerland is first with 12 minutes worked for a Big Mac, then comes Luxembourg and Netherlands with 13 minutes, the third are Great Britain and Denmark with 14 minutes. For an average person it most likely takes more time to eat the burgers than to earn them.
  • In the countries at the bottom of the list you definitely have to work more than an hour (in the worst case 2 hours, exactly 133 minutes in Moldova) to afford you a burger. Belarus follows with 70 minutes and Macedonia with 61. Those one or two hours could be better spent by having a nice and comfortable nap.
  • For the price of an hour long excitement in an escape room the average worker in Ireland and Switzerland have to work less than an hour (55 and 59 minutes).
  • Moldavian citizens have to work more than 2 (working) days, 926 minutes to afford an escape experience. It’s only slightly better in Macedonia and Serbia, where 239 and 210 minutes are required for a ticket respectively.
  • You can find the optimal situation in Ireland. Due to high salaries and low escape prices, getting a Big Mac requires 17 minutes of work while buying yourself in a game is still just 55 minutes. So with a bit more than an hour of work, you can fill your tummy and challenge your mind as well.
  • • Although Poland is part of the eastern region, their result of our findings is closer to that of the Western-European countries. There, you have to work 26 minutes for a burger and 78 for a game.
  • The Eastern-European block averages about 45 and 170 minutes respectively.

Have you found any interesting facts about your country? Some surprising results maybe? We sure have. Share it with your friends on social media so they might enjoy it as well! If you feel like reading more about escape games, check our first infographics about the global escape room industry.

Last updated: 18/04/2016