Posted on12. June 2022, 05:58
In response to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the fast food giant McDonald’s withdrew from the largest country in the world. Now the first restaurants are to be reopened under the Russian owner.
Hamburger and two fries: This is what the new ‘Russian McDonald’s’ logo looks like.
The yellow M had to disappear everywhere, the workers could stay.
REUTERS / Anton Waganow
After more than 30 years, McDonald’s closed its Russian operations in early March in response to the aggression against Ukraine launched by the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin.
REUTERS / Anton Waganow
A few weeks after the American fast food chain McDonald’s finally withdrew from Russia, the first restaurants open under a new Russian owner. A total of 15 branches in and around Moscow are expected to welcome visitors again this Sunday – under a new name and logo, but in the same locations, with the same service and almost identical dishes.
After more than 30 years, McDonald’s temporarily shut down its Russian operations in early March in response to the aggression against Ukraine launched by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Like several other multinationals, the group eventually pulled out of the world’s largest country, where it was one of the top employers with 62,000 local employees. Only at stations and airports, individual restaurants should initially continue to operate under the US logo due to special franchise agreements that are not easy to cancel.
Alexander Gowor became the new owner of the Russian chain and until recently he ran 25 McDonald’s branches in Siberia. Now, the trader has also bought 825 other locations across the country for an undisclosed price – and says he wants to reopen them in two months.
Historical Importance for Russians
The return of McDonald’s in a new Russian disguise has been the subject of heated discussions on Russian social networks for many days. The governmental newspaper “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” recently even devoted a full page to “Russian McDonalds”.
There is also great interest in the fact that McDonald’s is of historical importance to many Russians: in the early 1990s, the opening of the first McDonald’s branches was also a sign of change and departure in Russia, before restaurants were opened there. Lines with a length of 500 meters. Consequently, the closures are a symbol of the hardened fronts between Moscow and the West.
According to McDonald’s, the new owner, Gowor, who once made a fortune in the mining and oil industry, has signed a contract to keep existing employees on the same terms for at least two years.
Yellow characters removed
Meanwhile, Gowor can no longer use McDonald’s branding. And so, in the last few days and weeks, all yellow Ms have been gradually removed from Russian restaurants. And anyone who called up the home page of a Russian McDonald’s found a page called “Skoro tut budut burgers”: “Burgers will be here soon.” According to media reports, the new chain logo consists of a red ball and two yellow lines, to represent a burger cutlet and two fries. The new name is not known yet.
Besides, however, for Russian consumers, as little as possible should be changed. The dishes look – at least in the photos from the online menu – almost identical to the old ones. And the fact that McDonald’s in Russia previously sourced its products from Russian farmers should ensure they continue to taste alike. Only: “Filet-o-Fish” is now called “Fish Burger”, “Royal” becomes “Grand” and “Double Royal” becomes “Double Grand”.
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(DPA / chk)