McDonald’s replacement restaurants are unveiled in Russia


The American fast food giant has been renamed “Vkusno & Tochka”, which translates to “Tasty and that’s it”.

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

“If you recall, in May McDonald’s announced that it was withdrawing its business from Russia. I am very proud that they chose me to continue to develop this business. It means that the company sees me as someone one that fully shares all of the business principles and values ​​of McDonald’s,” Govor said at a press conference.

“I will not hide that I am an ambitious man, and therefore I will not just open the 850 restaurants, but also develop new ones,” he said.

According to a statement, 62,000 former McDonald’s employees were also retained.

The rebranding coincided with Russia Day, a holiday marking the country’s independence. It took place at the same location in Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square, where McDonald’s opened its first Russian restaurant on January 31, 1990.
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On the first day, 30,000 people were served — a McDonald’s record for an opening day, the CBC reported at the time. The location even had to stay open for hours later than expected due to the crowds.
About 630 employees were chosen from 27,000 applicants, according to a 1990 Washington Post article.

“About 32 years there were a lot of people in Pushkinskaya Square when the first McDonald’s franchise opened here in Russia. It caused quite a stir. I think the enthusiasm will be just as great with this new chain of restaurants, with a new owner, a real entrepreneur,” said Alexei Alexeevich, the head of the Moscow Department of Commerce, at a press conference on Sunday.

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

McDonald’s then expanded its reach in the country, and by early March there were around 850 sites operating in Russia.

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

McDonald’s accepted a charge of nearly $1.4 billion after the sale to Govor, Reuters reported. Paroev said other franchises could work under the new brand, but the traditional McDonald’s brand will leave the country.
Russia’s anti-monopoly service said the chain could choose to buy its restaurants in Russia within 15 years, although many terms of sale in Govor are still unclear, Reuters also reported.

“If the opening of McDonald’s in 1990 symbolized the beginning of a new era in Soviet life, an era with more freedoms, then the current exit of the company represents not only the closing of the company, but of the society as a whole,” said 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 main symbols of the restaurant” depicted on it – which is believed to be two sticks of yellow fries and an orange burger. The green background, the press office told CNN, symbolizes “the quality of products and service that customers are used to.”

An employee prepares fries in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant.
Shoppers flocked to what was once McDonald’s flagship store in central Moscow on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Although “Vkusno & Tochka” doesn’t offer some of McDonald’s more recognizable menu items – including a Big Mac – customers could still buy a double cheeseburger for 129 rubles (about $2.30), up from about 160 under McDonald’s, and a fish burger for 169 rubles, instead of about 190 rubles previously.

The new company logo shared with CNN has

Despite some menu changes, McDonald’s burger composition and equipment remain the same, said Alexander Merkulov, quality manager of the new company.

“The taste stayed the same,” said Sergei, a 15-year-old customer, as he was tucked into a chicken burger and fries. “The cola is different, but there’s really no change for the burger.”

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


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