In Moscow, opening of the first “Russian McDonald’s”

“The name changes, the love remains”: the first “Russian McDonald’s” opened their doors on Sunday under this slogan in the country nostalgic for the American fast-food chain, which left Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine. “Vkousno i totchka” (Delicious. Point) is the brand’s new name, unveiled Sunday in Moscow in front of a hundred Russian and foreign journalists. The new logo represents two stylized orange fries and a red dot on a green background.

“We will try to do everything so that our customers do not notice any difference, neither in terms of atmosphere, nor in terms of taste, nor in terms of quality”, assured the general manager of the chain, Oleg Paroïev. “It won’t be worse, that’s for sure. We will try to make it better” than before, added the new owner, businessman Alexandre Govor. “We hope that the number of customers will not decrease but on the contrary, that it will increase. Especially since now it is an entirely Russian company,” he added.

The American company left the country in May

Established for more than 30 years in Russia, McDonald’s was one of the first windows on the Western world to open for Russians and became anchored in their daily lives and their hearts. Very popular, Russian restaurants accounted for around 9% of the American group’s turnover. Its decision to suspend the work of its 850 restaurants and 62,000 employees in March, then to leave the country definitively in May because of the Russian offensive in Ukraine launched on February 24, was badly digested by the Russians.

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A long queue stretched outside the Russian capital’s iconic McDonald’s on Sunday, facing Pushkin Square – one of the first 15 restaurants to welcome customers on Sunday – long before the official grand opening. pump at 9 a.m. “Millions of customers once again have the opportunity to come to their favorite restaurant”, launched during the ceremony Mr. Paroïev, while Mr. Govor welcomed, applauded by the public, the return of these dishes “comparable to nothing “.

Neutral packaging, product names changed

Another 50 restaurants are due to open on Monday, with the chain then planning to reopen 50 to 100 restaurants a week across the country. On the menu, the same range as before: cheese and double cheeseburgers, a wide range of ice creams and desserts, but the Filet-O-Fish is now called the Fishburger, the Royal Deluxe has been transformed into the Grand Deluxe and the prefix McDo no longer appears on any name.

“We were forced to remove certain products from the menu because they make direct reference to McDonald’s, such as McFlurry and Big Mac,” explains Oleg Paroïev. Prices have “increased slightly” due to inflation hitting Russia hard since the implementation of new Western sanctions in February and March, in the wake of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, but they remain “reasonable” according to the general director of “Vkousno i totchka”. As for the packaging, it is “neutral”: “no word, no letter” should remind the McDonald’s group, he explains.

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