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At least 15 McDonalds locations in Russia reopened on Sunday under new branding and ownership, according to the company’s owner Alexander Nikolaevich Govor.
The fast-food behemoth has been rebranded “Vkusno & Tochka,” which means “tasty, and that’s it.”
According to a press statement, the company, which has Oleg Paroev as its director-general, expects to establish 200 branches by the end of June and all branches by the end of the summer.
According to a press release, sixty-two thousand former McDonald’s employees were also retained.
The rebranding occurred on Russia Day, a national holiday commemorating the country’s independence. It was held in the same spot in Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square, where McDonald’s initially launched its Russian restaurant on January 31, 1990.
According to the CBC, 30,000 people were served on the first day, a McDonald’s record for an inaugural day. After that, however, the site had to stay open for several hours longer than expected because of the crowds.
According to a Washington Post article from 1990, about 630 employees were picked from a pool of 27,000 candidates.
McDonald’s has since grown its presence in Russia, with over 850 stores open as of early March.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the company opted to exit the country and sell its Russia business, as did many other Western companies.
According to Reuters, McDonald’s accepted a nearly $1.4 billion charge after the sale to Govor. Other franchises could operate under the new brand, according to Paroev, but the conventional McDonald’s brand will exit the nation.
According to Reuters, Russia’s anti-monopoly service stated the company might choose to purchase back its restaurants in Russia within 15 years. However, many conditions of the transaction to Govor are still unclear.
The company’s new logo, shared with CNN, depicts “the fundamental insignia of the restaurant,” two sticks of yellow fries and an orange burger. According to the press office, the green background represents “the quality of products and service that guests have come to expect.”
According to Reuters, consumers rushed to the former McDonald’s flagship location in central Moscow on Sunday.
Although “Vkusno & Tochka” does not offer some of the most well-known items on the McDonald’s menu, such as the Big Mac, customers could still get a double cheeseburger for 129 roubles (about $2.30), compared to roughly 160 at McDonald’s, and a fish burger for 169 roubles, compared to roughly 190 rubles previously.
Despite minor menu modifications, the burger composition and McDonald’s equipment remain the same, according to Alexander Merkulov, the new company’s quality manager.