What changes, what remains the same ?: McDonald’s in Russia is finally history: Now there is “Lecker und Punkt”
In response to Russia’s offensive war against Ukraine, fast food giant McDonald’s withdrew from the world’s largest country. Now the first branches will reopen under a new Russian owner. The name is also new. But what changes and what remains the same?
A few weeks after the American fast food chain McDonald’s finally withdrew from Russia, the first restaurants open under their new Russian owners. A total of 15 branches in Moscow and the surrounding area will welcome guests again this Sunday – under a new name and logo, but in the same places, with the same staff and almost identical dishes.
Following the takeover of a Russian entrepreneur, the around 850 fast food restaurants formerly part of the American fast food chain “Vkusno i totschka” (good and pepper), as the new management announced at a press conference in Moscow on Sunday, are now called. The 51,000 former McDonald’s employees across the country will keep their jobs.
New owner wants to open all Russian McDonald’s branches within two months
After more than 30 years, McDonald’s temporarily shut down its Russian operations in early March in response to the war of aggression against Ukraine launched by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Like several other international companies, the group later eventually withdrew from the largest country in the world, where it was one of the most important employers. Only at train stations and airports should individual restaurants initially continue to operate under the US logo due to special franchise agreements that are not easy to terminate.
The new owner of the Russian chain is Alexander Gowor and until recently operated 25 McDonald’s offices in Siberia. Now the entrepreneur has also bought the 825 other places in the country for an unpublished price – and says that he wants to open them all again within two months.
Gowor made his fortune in the mining and oil industry
The return of McDonald’s in a new, Russian form has been a hotly debated topic on Russia’s social network for several days. The government newspaper “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” recently even devoted an entire page to “Russian McDonald’s”.
The great interest also has to do with the fact that McDonald’s has a purely historical significance for many Russians: the opening of the first McDonald’s branches in the early 1990s was also a sign of change and departure in Russia, before the restaurants were formed on it. time 500 meters long lines. Consequently, the closures are symbolic of the hardened fronts between Moscow and the West.
According to McDonald’s, the new owner Gowor, who once made his fortune in the mining and oil industry, has agreed to keep existing employees on the same terms for at least two years.
New McDonald’s in Russia – “Burgers coming soon”
At the same time, Gowor is no longer allowed to use McDonald’s trademark symbols. And so, in recent days and weeks, all the yellow Ms have been gradually removed from Russian restaurants. And everyone who calls up Russian McDonald’s website ended up on a page called “Skoro tut budut burgers”: “Burgers are coming here soon”. According to media reports, the chain’s new logo consists of a red ball and two yellow lines, it will represent a hamburger steak and two french fries. The new name is not yet known.
Beyond that, however, as little as possible should change for Russian consumers. The dishes look – at least in the pictures on the online menu – almost identical to the old ones. And the fact that McDonald’s in Russia previously bought its products from Russian farmers should ensure that they continue to taste similar. Only: The hamburger “Filet-o-Fish” is now called “Fish Burger”, the hamburger “Royal” becomes “Grand” and “Double Royal” becomes “Double Grand”.
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Fast food giant McDonald’s has closed its stores in Russia. Now a restaurant has reopened – under a new name. However, a protester longs for “Big Mac”.
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With a strange message, protesters disrupt the reopening of Russian McDonald’s
ter / dpa / AFP