Muscovites flock to new fast food restaurant replacing McDonald’s

·1-min read
People have a meal at the new restaurant
People have a meal at the new restaurant

Hundreds of Russians queued for hours to try the new restaurant which has replaced McDonald’s after the fast-food giant quit the country following the invasion of Ukraine.

The former McDonald’s outlet on Moscow’s Pushkin Square has re-opened with a new name after the US firm sold its 850 restaurants to businessman, Alexander Govor.

“This is a historic place - the flagship of McDonald’s,” Mr Govor told reporters. “I’m sure it will be the flagship for us.”

Mr Govor is moving fast to reopen the outlets which are called Vkusno-i Tochka (Tasty and that’s it) and whose logo - a circle and two yellow oblongs which represents a burger and fries configured into a stylised M - recalls the golden arches of its predecessor.

An employee holds a food order on a tray in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant after the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
An employee holds a food order on a tray in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant after the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

The Pushkin Square branch is one of 15 former McDonald’s outlets that reopened in Moscow on Sunday.

Oleg Paroev, the chain’s general director, said he aims to have 200 open by the end of the month.

As part of the sales deal, whose monetary terms were not announced, the new operation agreed to retain all 62,000 people employed by McDonald’s prior to its exit.

The crowd at the Pushkin Square outlet, however sizable and lively, was no match for the turnout for the McDonald’s opening in 1990, when people waited in line for hours.

Double cheeseburgers in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant during the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
Double cheeseburgers in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant during the opening ceremony in Moscow on June 12, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

The opening was the first taste most Muscovites had of Western consumerism and service efficiency, as well as a sign the Soviet Union was slowly dropping its guard and allowing foreign culture into the country.

On Sunday, that earlier symbolism echoed through the reopening with a note of nostalgia, while Mr Paroev said he hoped “our customers won’t notice a difference between us”.

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