Former McDonald's stores in Russia have reopened under a new name, roughly a month after the fast-food giant officially announced its exit from the country.
CNN reported Monday that 15 units debuted as "Vkusno & Tochka," which means "Tasty and that's it." The plan is to open 200 restaurants by the end of June and the rest before summer ends. There are approximately 850 former McDonald's outlets in Russia.
The stores use the same equipment and ingredients, but offer more affordable menu prices. The double cheeseburger is about $2.30 and the fish burger is $2.97, compared to $2.81 and $3.34, respectively, under the McDonald's banner.
Today | It's Russia Day 🇷🇺— Sphithiphithi Evaluator (@_AfricanSoil) June 12, 2022
This is the new "McDonald's" 😉 in Moscow, opened today
Russia is moving; have their own brands food/products now, pulled out from many global organizations; strong currency and everyone is happy 🎊🥂 pic.twitter.com/P9qS25jn9u
The chain's new logo is a red circle beside two diagonal orange sticks, set against a forest green background. According to CNN, the red circle represents a burger while the two orange sticks are fries. The green depicts "the quality of products and service that guests are accustomed to."
"If you recall, in May, McDonald's announced they were removing their businesses from Russia. I am very proud that they chose me to continue developing this business. That means the company views me as someone who fully shares all the principles of business and values of McDonald's," Alex Govor, new owner of the restaurants, said at a press conference.
McDonald's temporarily closed its Russia locations in March, but still paid full salaries of employees. In May, the chain revealed that it would leave the country permanently, stating ownership was "no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values" in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The move is expected to cost the chain $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion.
The chain "de-Arched" its restaurants, meaning removal of its name, logo, branding, and menu. McDonald's kept its trademarks in the country to prevent potential copycats.
The company decided to sell its 850 restaurants to Govor, who served as a licensee since 2015 and owned 25 units in Siberia. All 62,000 former McDonald's workers were retained as part of the transaction. Reuters reported that Russia's anti-monopoly service said the brand could buy back its Russia stores within 15 years, but many of the terms between the company and Govor are still unclear.
The reopening coincided with Russia Day, a holiday celebrating independence. It took place at Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square, the location where McDonald's first opened in January 1990, CNN said.
“Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambience,” Oleg Paroev, director general, said during the press conference.