Long lines formed today outside a former McDonald’s restaurant in central Moscow that reopened a month after the American fast-food giant pulled out of Russia.
Russia’s answer to McDonald’s is called “Vkusno i tochka” (“Delicious. Full stop” or “Tasty and that’s it”).
A new logo depicting a hamburger and two fries replaced McDonald’s iconic golden arches.
Fifty more of the burger joints are opening today, chain management says.
The lines at the Pushkin Square restaurant are compared to the excitement generated by the opening of the first McDonald’s in Russia in January 1990, which was hailed as a sign of Soviet détente with the West.
Oleg Paroev, CEO of Vkusno & tochka, said the company planned to reopen 200 restaurants in Russia by the end of June and all 850 by the end of the summer.
“Our goal is that our customers don’t notice the difference in quality or atmosphere,” Paroev told a news conference at what used to be the first McDonald’s restaurant to open in Soviet Moscow in 1990.
The rebranded fast-food chain will keep its old McDonald’s interior but remove any reference to its old name, said Paroev, who was appointed McDonald’s general manager for Russia in February, weeks before Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Paroev said the company would keep “affordable prices” but did not rule out slightly higher prices in the short term.
McDonald’s announced last month that it would sell its Russian business to its current licensee.
This ended more than three decades of the restaurant chain’s presence in the country, a decision made after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.