Industry News | January 22, 2010

Burger King Opens First Russian Restaurant

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Burger King Corp. announced a new market entry with the opening of the first Burger King restaurant in Moscow, Russia. This restaurant opening is part of the company’s expansion strategy in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) operating region.

“We believe that our brand’s entry into Russia exemplifies our company’s commitment to diversifying our global restaurant portfolio and represents a milestone in our expansion strategy in the region,” says John W. Chidsey, chairman and CEO of Burger King Corp. “More than 80 percent of our net restaurant growth is realized in international markets and we are pleased with our new strategic market entry into Russia and its future expansion potential.”

Burger King Europe GmbH signed an agreement with Burger Rus LLC. The managing shareholder of Burger Rus LLC is Alexander Kolobov, who successfully established the well-known Russian coffee shop chain Shokoladnitsa. Together with his partners Oleg Gurkov and Mikhail Serdtsev, Kolobov will now bring the Burger King brand’s flame-broiled beef burgers to Russia.

The first Burger King restaurant in Russia is located in the Metropolis shopping mall in Moscow. A second Burger King restaurant is scheduled to open later this month in Moscow’s well-known “Europeysky” shopping center. Additional Burger King restaurants are expected to open in the market throughout 2010 and beyond.

"Russia is an exciting, active market with a vibrant economy,” says Kevin Higgins, president of EMEA for Burger King Corp. “We believe consumers in Russia will embrace the Burger King menu of flame-grilled offerings, including the Whopper sandwich, the brand’s flagship product of more than 50 years.”

“We are very excited to be a part of a leading global [quick source] brand and to develop the Burger King business in Russia,” Kolobov says. “The increasingly dynamic lifestyle in Russia makes us optimistic about the growth and expansion potential of the Burger King brand in the market.”

The Burger King brand has expanded its presence throughout Central and Eastern Europe in the last five years with market entries into Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. The entry into the Russian market comes only weeks after the opening of the brand’s 12,000th restaurant, located in Joy City, Beijing, in December 2009.