McDonald’s Undergoes Serious Rebranding in Russia

McDonald's Undergoes Serious Rebranding in Russia

McDonald’s Gets A New Name And Face To Their Restaurants In Russia

( – When the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Moscow in 1990, it was a symbol of the end of the Cold War and Russia’s re-entry into the family of nations. Now, with Russia a pariah again, the fast-food giant has left the country. Can the country replace it?

In January, there were 850 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia, and they were extremely popular. It was a major blow to the country’s burger fans when the company announced on March 8 that it was temporarily closing its outlets in protest at the invasion of Ukraine, and in May that closure became permanent. McDonald’s is out of Russia, 32 years after it arrived. But, while the Golden Arches are leaving, the restaurants they decorated are still there. Now, they’re reopening with a new, Russian, name.

Siberian oil billionaire Alexander Govor has now bought out the McDonald’s operation in Russia, for a “symbolic sum” believed to be far below its $1.4 billion market value. As part of the deal, Govor pledged to keep the 62,000 existing staff for at least 2 years. Now, he’s trying to get those staff back to work as fast as possible. On Sunday, the first 15 restaurants, including the flagship location in Pushkin Square, where 30,000 Russians queued on January 31, 1990, reopened under a new name, “Vkusno & tochka”. In English, the new name means “Tasty, period.”

The question is whether Govor, a former McDonald’s franchisee who ran 25 restaurants in Siberia, can keep the taste Russians have grown to love. So far the signs are good, with one Moscow diner telling journalists “The taste has stayed the same… The cola is different, but there really is no change to the burger.” There’s a change to Russia’s status, though, and the new logo and unbranded packaging make that very clear.

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