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McDonald's restaurants in Russia reopen with new name and image

2022-06-12T15:56:04.675Z

The Golden Arches and the Big Mac may be gone, but Russians saw 850 McDonald's restaurants reopen with a new name and logo.



How did the Russians react to the closure of McDonald's?

1:01

(CNN) —

The Golden Arches and the Big Mac may be gone, but Russians saw 850 McDonald's restaurants reopen under new branding and ownership this Sunday, according to owner Alexander Nikolaevich Govor.

The American fast-food giant has been rebranded as "Vkusno & Tochka," which translates to "Tasty and that's it."

The company, which has Oleg Paroev as CEO, plans to open 200 branches by the end of June and all branches by the end of the summer, according to a press release.

  • McDonald's is leaving Russia entirely due to the war in Ukraine

"If you remember, in May, McDonald's announced that it would withdraw its business from Russia. I am very proud that they have chosen me to continue developing this business. That means that the company sees me as someone who fully shares all of McDonald's business principles and values. Govor said at a news conference.

"I will not hide the fact that I am an ambitious man, so I will not only open the 850 restaurants, but also develop new ones," he said.

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According to a press release, 62,000 former McDonald's employees were also retained.

A closed McDonald's restaurant following the military invasion of Ukraine on April 14, 2022 at Belaya Dacha, outside Moscow.

The rebranding coincided with Russia Day, a holiday marking the country's independence.

It took place on the same spot in Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square where McDonald's opened its first Russian restaurant on January 31, 1990.

The first day saw 30,000 people, a McDonald's record for an opening day, CBC reported at the time.

The location even had to stay open for hours later than planned due to the crowds.

About 630 employees were chosen from 27,000 applicants, according to a 1990 Washington Post article.

"About 32 years ago...there were a lot of people on Pushkinskaya Square, when the first McDonald's franchise opened here in Russia. It caused a huge craze. I think the craze will be just as big with this new restaurant chain, with a new owner, a real businessman," Alexei Alexeevich, Head of the Moscow Department of Commerce, said during a press conference on Sunday.

An employee cleans a self-service machine in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant ahead of the opening ceremony, in Moscow.

McDonald's subsequently expanded its reach within the country, and as of early March, there were around 850 locations operating in Russia.

However, the chain decided to leave the country and sell its Russian business, in line with many other Western businesses following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February.

McDonald's accepted a nearly $1.4 billion charge after the sale to Govor, Reuters reported.

Paroev has said that other franchises could work under the new brand, but the traditional McDonald's brand will leave the country.

  • Three months of business exodus: these are the big companies that have left Russia since the start of the war

Russia's antitrust service said the chain could choose to buy its Russian restaurants within 15 years, although many terms of the sale to Govor remain unclear, Reuters also reported.

"If the opening of McDonald's in 1990 symbolized the beginning of a new era in Soviet life, one with greater freedoms, then the current departure of the company represents not only the closure of the business, but of society as a whole," Darra Goldstein, Willcox B., and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emeritus, at Williams College, noted at the time.

The company's new logo shared with CNN has "the restaurant's main symbols" depicted: what are supposed to be two yellow fries sticks and an orange hamburger.

The green background, the press office told CNN, symbolizes "the quality of products and services that customers are used to."

An employee prepares French fries in the Russian version of an old McDonald's restaurant.

Consumers gathered outside what used to be McDonald's flagship store in central Moscow on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Although "Vkusno & Tochka" doesn't offer some of the most recognizable items on the McDonald's menu, including a Big Mac, customers can still pick up a double cheeseburger for 129 rubles (about $2.30), compared with about 160 at McDonald's, and a fish burger for 169 rubles, instead of the previous 190 rubles.

  • The new name of McDonald's in Russia could be "Fun and Tasty"

Despite some changes in the menu, the composition of McDonald's burgers and equipment remains the same, said Alexander Merkulov, quality manager of the new company.

"The taste has stayed the same," said Sergei, a 15-year-old customer, as he ate a chicken burger and fries.

"The cola is different, but there's really no change in the burger."

CNN's Danielle Wiener-Bronner, Chris Liakos and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

War UkraineMcDonald's

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-06-12

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