Explained: All About Russia’s Rebranded McDonald’s

Fast-food giant McDonald’s withdrew from Russia in May amid the country’s ongoing invasion of UkraineClosing shop in 850 locations. As it exited Russia, it sold its outlets in the country to the local licensee – Alexander Grover. in no time, The stores were rebranded with a new name. – Vkusno i Tochka, and a slogan that said: “The name changes, the love remains”. The logo replaced McDonald’s iconic golden arch made of two fries and a hamburger patty against a green background. The translation of the name Vkusno i Tochka is “delicious, that’s all”.

McDonald’s in Russia

McDonald’s first entered Russia in 1990, with its first location opening in Moscow’s Pushkin Square on January 31 of the same year. The opening was a resounding success, with approximately 38,000 customers queuing outside the store, breaking the company’s all-time record.

Over the next seven years, the company opened 21 locations throughout Russia. By the time it decided to fold operations in May this year, it had about 62,000 employees nationwide.

Russian makeover

‘Vakusno i Tochka’ opened its first store in and around Moscow’s Pushkin Square, selling around 120,000 burgers on the first day, breaking the record set by McDonald’s before leaving the country. The new range has completely eliminated McDonald’s packaging and colors, even changing the employees’ uniforms. However, most of the items on the menu are similar to those served at McDonald’s, albeit with changed names. The menu lacks McDonald’s signature Big Mac and McFlurry, but has other similar items. Some of the burgers in the store are Grand De Luxe, Double Grand, Grandi, Chicken Premier, Single or Double Fish Burger. The store also serves a variety of snacks, beverages, and sauces, along with wraps, desserts, fries, muffins, buns.

While the menu is smaller than that of McDonald’s, Grover hopes to launch items similar to the Big Mac. He added: “The Big Mac is the story of McDonald’s. We’ll definitely do something similar… We’ll try to do something even better so that our audience and guests enjoy the dish.”

People line up to walk into a newly opened fast food restaurant at a former McDonald’s outlet on Bolshaya Bronnaya Street in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 12, 2022. The sign reads ‘name change, love lasts’. (AP photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

Can McDonald’s make a comeback?

While Russian officials have said McDonald’s could buy back its business within 15 years, Grover disagrees, claiming the fast-food giant has no intention of doing so.

The rebranded firm aims to open about 1000 locations across Russia in four to five years, expanding to 850 under McDonald’s.

The biggest challenge facing ‘Vakusno i Tochka’ is maintaining a steady flow of customers and matching the quality and experience of McDonald’s, said CEO Oleg Parov: “We aim to make sure our guests don’t notice any difference in quality or atmosphere. “

others who left Russia

McDonald’s isn’t the only company that has stopped selling its goods in the country. After the invasion of Ukraine, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Mothercare, Heineken have cut supplies to Russia and closed their stores in the country. Imperial Brands, which includes companies such as Davidoff Cigarettes and JPS, have also stopped production at their factories in the country, as well as British American Tobacco, which has halted investments. Netflix and Levi’s have also stopped selling in the country.