Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
You’ll remember that McDonald’s made the decision to pull out of Russia recently, as a result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Now, the first of the 800 fast food chains across the country have been replaced with a Maccies alternative – and it looks strikingly similar to the OG offering.
The burger restaurants have been renamed Vkusno & tochka, or ‘Tasty and that’s it’, and are now under the ownership of Russian businessman Alexander Govor.
On the menu, you won’t find Big Macs, but instead there’s a burger called Grandee, which contains the same ingredients as the popular burger.
You can also find a ‘Chicken Premier’ and a ‘Fish burger’ on the new menu, which aren’t too dissimilar to classics you’d typically find in your local Golden Arches.
Virtual ordering boards remain the same, apart from the new branding, and due to the quick turnaround of the new chain, most packaging is simply plain white, with brown bags.
Plus, BBC journalist Francis Scarr even shared pictures of McDonald’s sauces with the logo crossed out with black marker pen being served to customers. Gotta use up those leftovers, ey?
Ahead of today's opening of Russia's rebranded McDonald's:
"Dima, have you got a marker pen? Your job today is to cross out the M on all the sauces we've got left" pic.twitter.com/c6dPRGQIhB
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) June 12, 2022
According to the company’s quality manager, most of the dishes are virtually unchanged (although we haven’t had eyes on the official recipes to confirm this, naturally).
The new fast food chain confirm that dishes are even cooked with the same equipment and many of the same staff.
The restaurant’s logo is now an ‘M’ made up two french fries and a burger, even though the new chain’s name doesn’t actually have an ‘M’ in it.
This is no doubt intentional. The chain’s chief executive Oleg Paroev said: “Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambience.”
Currently, only 15 Maccies stores have reopened, but they’re expecting 200 branches to open their doors again by the end of June, and 847 by the time summer is over.
Moscow’s flagship McDonald’s, which first opened in 1990, was one of the first to return under the new identity.
“We have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values,” McDonald’s chief executive Chris Kempczinski said as he announced the chain would be leaving the country back in March.