The grand reopening of McDonald’s locations is taking place at the same flagship location on Moscow’s Pushkin Square where the company first opened in Russia in January 1990
Change is on the horizon for Russia’s fast-food scene, as former McDonald’s restaurants reopen under new branding and ownership after the company announced last month that it was leaving the country.
The relaunch begins on Russia Day, a patriotic holiday celebrating the country’s independence.
It comes more than three decades after the hugely popular western fast-food chain arrived in Russia.
The grand reopening will take place at the same flagship location in Moscow’s Pushkin Square where McDonald’s first opened in Russia in January 1990.
In the early 1990s, as the Soviet Union collapsed, McDonald’s epitomized the thawing of Cold War tensions and was a vehicle for millions of Russians to sample American food and culture.
The brand’s exit is now a powerful symbol of how Russia and the West are once again turning their backs on each other.
McDonald’s announced last month that it was selling its restaurants in Russia to one of its local licensees, Alexander Govor. The deal was one of the most high-profile corporate exits since Russia deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24.
McDonald’s iconic “Golden Arches” have been removed at locations in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where they will make way for a new logo consisting of two French fries and a hamburger patty against a green background.
The reopening initially includes 15 locations in Moscow and the surrounding area.
Govor said he plans to expand the new brand, which has yet to be named, to 1,000 locations across the country and reopen all of the chain’s restaurants within two months.
However, one branding expert has warned there could be headwinds.
It takes decades to build a brand, said Peter Gabrielsson, Professor of International Marketing at Finland’s Vaasa University, and the new launch is critical to the brand’s future success.
“Opening day is important because it’s the first time consumers can really feel, touch and see the brand and what it stands for,” he said. “It’s important what the reaction will be and obviously people will compare it to McDonald’s.”
McDonald’s, the world’s largest burger chain, had owned 84% of its nearly 850 restaurants across Russia and took a fee of up to $1.4 billion after selling it to Govor, whose GiD LLC had previously operated 25 restaurants.
Oleg Paroev of McDonald’s Russia said other franchisees would have the opportunity to operate under the new brand, but that the traditional McDonald’s brand would leave the country. McDonald’s has announced that it will keep its brands.
McDonald’s generated about 9%, or $2 billion, of its sales in Russia and Ukraine last year. McDonald’s has the right to buy back its Russian restaurants within 15 years, but many terms of the sale to Govor remain unclear.
The TASS news agency on Wednesday said McDonald’s would remain open as usual at airports and train stations in Moscow and St. Petersburg until 2023, citing a source close to Rosinter Restaurants, another franchisee.
“Rosinter has a unique agreement that the American company cannot take away the franchise. You can operate in peace.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mcdonalds-reopen-russia-under-new-27200130 McDonald's to reopen in Russia under new branding as fast-food restaurant shares logo - World News