McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow will reopen under Russian ownership and with a new, “tasty” name.
Vkusno i tochka, which literally translates as “Tasty and that’s it”, saw fifteen rebranded restaurants open in and around the Russian capital today. The openings coincided with Russia Day.
Former Russia McDonald’s CEO Oleg Paroev, now CEO of Vkusno i tochka, said the company plans to reopen 200 restaurants by the end of the month, and all 850 by the end of the summer.
The rebranded fast-food chain will keep its old McDonald’s interior but will expunge any references to its old name. The Golden Arches are gone, the Big Mac is dead, the colour scheme has changed, and the “Mc” has been dropped from the chicken nuggets.
A new logo featuring “fries and a hamburger patty” against a green background will replace the iconic Golden Arches. This is the type of logo you would design when learning how to use Adobe Illustrator for the first time.
According to reports, most of the food was packaged in nondescript white or brown packaging since there was not enough time for the brand to have custom containers produced. Black marker was used to cover the McDonald’s logo on condement packs.
Vkusno i tochka’s menu has been pared down, including the removal of some burgers and one of my favourites, the McFlurry. While menu prices appear to be slightly cheaper than comparable items at former McDonald’s restaurants, there has already been talk of price increases in the near future.
Alexander Merkulov, quality manager at Vkusno i tochka’s, says that the burger’s recipe has not changed and the equipment used to prepare the food has remained the same. This will allow the brand to closely mimic the McDonald’s experience.
The new fast food chain won’t have too much trouble acquiring ingredients as 98% of the chain’s ingredients are sourced inside Russia, according to Paroev. However, the brand will have to find a new supplier of soft drinks as Coca Cola is ending its operations in Russia.
Alexander Govor, the owner of Vkusno i tochka’s, is among the many Russian elites who are buying up Western companies from the Russian government for prices well below market value.
Govor plans to open a thousand new restaurants across the country under the Vkusno i tochka’s brand and reopen all the chain’s restaurants within two months. Since the infrastructure, staff, supplies, and franchisees already exist, this is not as far-fetched as it appears.
The only exception to this whole situation would be McDonald’s locations located in train stations and airports in Moscow and St. Petersburg. McDonald’s franchisee Rosinter Restaurants apparently has an agreement allowing them to operate in the country until 2023.
McDonald’s has the right to buy back its Russian restaurants within fifteen years, according to Russian authorities. Whether the company will want to do so remains to be seen.