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Food and Leisure

In photos: Russia's McDonald's reopens under new name

Maria Panina - Agence France-Presse
In photos: Russia's McDonald's reopens under new name
An employee gives a customer his food order in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant after the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. Former McDonald's restaurants in Russia have been renamed "Vkusno i tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop"), the new owner said ahead of their grand re-opening .
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

MOSCOW — The restaurant that launched McDonald's in Russia in 1990, heralding Moscow's opening after decades of Soviet rule, reopened Sunday with a new name and logo in a potent reminder of the upheaval sparked by the conflict in Ukraine.

The US fast-food giant announced on May 16 that it would exit Russia in the wake of its Ukraine offensive.

In Moscow's Pushkin Square on Sunday, dozens of people gathered outside the Russian incarnation of the fast-food restaurant, "Vkusno i tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop"), well before the official noon (0900 GMT) opening.

"My whole family went... three times to McDonald's for a farewell meal," Elena, a programmer and mother of two, told AFP.

Women walk past a closed McDonald's restaurant in Moscow on May 16, 2022. American fast-food giant McDonald's will exit the Russian market and sell its business in the increasingly isolated country, the company said May 16, 2022. In a statement McDonald's said: "After more than 30 years of operations in the country, McDonald's Corporation announced it will exit the Russian market and has initiated a process to sell its Russian business. Many Western businesses have pulled out of Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February.
AFP/Natalia Kolesnikova

"Now we're going for a reunion lunch," she smiled.

Inside, 31-year-old Oleg, one of the first customers to receive his order, said "Vkusno i tochka" was "delicious, beautiful and cheap."

The restaurant, on the spot where the very first McDonald's opened its doors to long queues and great fanfare in January 1990, is among the first 15 to welcome customers.

On Monday, another 50 restaurants are set to open, according to Oleg Paroyev, general manager of the new group, with the chain then planning to reopen 50 to 100 a week across the country.

The owner of the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant, Alexander Govor, reacts before the opening ceremony, in Moscow on June 12, 2022.
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
Customers stand in a queue to get in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant after the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. Former McDonald's restaurants in Russia have been renamed "Vkusno i tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop"), the new owner said ahead of their grand re-opening .
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

 

Customers wait next to a mirror wall as they stand in a queue to get in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant after the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. Former McDonald's restaurants in Russia have been renamed "Vkusno i tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop"), the new owner said ahead of their grand re-opening .
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
Visitors order on touchscreens in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant after the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. Former McDonald's restaurants in Russia have been renamed "Vkusno i tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop"), the new owner said ahead of their grand re-opening .
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
An employee cleans a self-ordering machine at the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant before the opening ceremony, in Moscow on June 12, 2022.
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

In place of the Golden Arches, there's a new logo – two stylised orange fries alongside a red dot on a green background.

There are still double cheeseburgers on the menu, as well as a wide range of ice creams and desserts. But the "Mc" prefix no longer appears.

"We had to remove some products from the menu because they refer directly to McDonald's, such as the McFlurry and Big Mac," Paroyev said.

Employees stand in front of the menu counter of the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant before the opening ceremony, in Moscow on June 12, 2022.
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

Prices have risen "slightly" due to the inflation that has hit Russia hard after Western countries imposed sanctions -- but they remain "reasonable," he added.

As for the packaging, it is "neutral" -- "no word, no letter" should remind customers of the McDonald's group, Paroyev said.

This photograph shows wrapped double cheeseburgers in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant during the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. Former McDonald's restaurants in Russia have been renamed "Vkusno i tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop"), the new owner said ahead of their grand re-opening later on Sunday.
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
This photograph taken on on June 12, 2022 shows a double cheeseburger menu' including fries, sauce and a soft drink in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant during the opening ceremony in Moscow .
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
This photograph taken on on June 12, 2022 shows a double cheeseburger menu' including fries, sauce and a soft drink in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant during the opening ceremony in Moscow .
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

McDonald's Russian restaurants had accounted for around nine percent of the US group's turnover.

Three days after the company announced its exit in May, Russian businessman Alexander Govor, who had been a licensee of the chain, bought the 850-restaurant operation.

"I am ambitious and I don't only plan to open the 850 restaurants but to develop new ones," Govor said on Sunday.

Under the sale conditions, Govor agreed to retain employees for at least two years and fund liabilities to suppliers, landlords and utilities, McDonald's said.

The price of the transaction was not disclosed but in announcing its exit, McDonald's said it planned to take a one-time charge of $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion to write off the investment.

McDonald's had employed 62,000 workers in Russia.

Govor, a licensee since 2015, has operated 25 restaurants in Siberia. He is co-founder of NefteKhimService, a refining company, and a board member of a firm that owns the Park Inn hotel and private clinics in Siberia.

RELATED: As It Happens: Russian invasion of Ukraine

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