McDonald’s replacement restaurants are unveiled in Russia

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

According to a press release, the company, whose general director is Oleg Paroev, plans to open 200 stores by the end of June and all stores by the end of the summer.

“If you remember, in May McDonald’s announced that it would withdraw its business from Russia. I am very proud that they chose me to develop this business. That means the company sees me as someone who fully shares all of the business principles and values ​​of McDonald’s,” Govor said at a news conference.

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

According to a press release, 62,000 former McDonald’s employees were also taken on.

The renaming coincided with Russia Day, a holiday marking the country’s independence. It took place at the same location, on Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow, where McDonald’s opened its first Russian restaurant on January 31, 1990.
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30,000 people were served on the first day – a McDonald’s record for an opening day, The CBC reported back then. Because of the rush, the location even had to remain open for hours longer than planned.
Around 630 employees were selected from 27,000 applicants, so a 1990 Washington Post article.

“About 32 years ago…there were a lot of people on Pushkinskaya Square when the first McDonald’s franchise opened here in Russia. It got quite a stir. I think the madness will be just as great with this new chain of restaurants, with a new owner, a real entrepreneur,” said Alexei Alexeevich, the head of Moscow’s trade ministry, during a news conference on Sunday.

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

Subsequently, McDonald’s expanded its reach within the country and as of March, about 850 stores were operational in Russia.

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

McDonald’s accepted a nearly $1.4 billion fee after the sale to Govor. Reuters reported. Paroev said other franchises could operate under the new brand, but the traditional McDonald’s brand would leave the country.
The Russian Antimonopoly Service said the chain could choose to buy back its restaurants in Russia within 15 years, though many terms of the sale to 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, one with greater freedoms, then the company’s current exit represents a closure not just of the business, but of society as a whole,” said Darra Goldstein, Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit, Professor Emeritus of Russian at Williams College, noted at the time.

The company’s new logo, shared with CNN, features “the restaurant’s main symbols” — two sticks of yellow fries and an orange burger. The green background, the press office told CNN, symbolizes “the quality of products and service to which guests are accustomed.”

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

Although “Vkusno & Tochka” doesn’t offer some of the most well-known items on the McDonald’s menu – including a Big Mac – customers could still get a double cheeseburger for 129 rubles (around a fish burger for 169 rubles, instead of about 190 rubles previously.

The company's new logo, shared with CNN, features

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

“The taste stayed the same,” said 15-year-old Sergei, a customer, while eating a chicken burger with fries. “The cola is different, but the burger really hasn’t changed.”

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

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