'Tasty and That's It': Russia's knock-off McDonald's goes international

'Tasty and That's It': Russia's knock-off McDonald's goes international

The Russian-based fast food chain, 'Vkusno I Tochka' ('Tasty and That’s It'), has gone international, expanding into Belarus.

"We are entering a new market," said Alexander Govor, owner of the chain. "Now Vkusno I Tochka will operate not only in Russia, but also in Belarus."

"This is just the beginning," he added.

Vkusno I Tochka took over McDonald's in Russia after the US fast food giant quit the country, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Since opening in June, its 800 restaurants have been blighted by supply chain issues, including shortages of fries and Coca-cola, in what was a bumpy start for the Russian rebrand.

In a statement released on Friday, the company said it was "completing" a franchising agreement with a Belarusian chain of fast-food restaurants owned by KSB Victory.

It plans to open 25 outlets in six cities across Belarus, Russia's neighbour and principal ally in the region, which are currently operating under the McDonald's brand, according to TASS, a Russian state-owned media outlet.

They will "start working under the new brand within a few weeks after all the necessary legal procedures are wrapped up and "organisational issues are resolved," TASS reported, adding the move will "save" more than 2,000 jobs.

Until the transition, the fast food restaurants will continue to operate under the McDonald's brand.

Vkusno I Tochka has withheld specific details on sales, revenue and profitability, though its CEO Oleg Paroev has previously painted a rosy picture of the company's fortunes.

In September, he told reporters the chain had sold more than 1.2 million burgers, claiming it occasionally enjoyed days of higher sales than under the McDonald's brand.

Issues with potato supplies left many of the chain's restaurants without French fries this summer and it began serving Dobry Cola on tap, after Coca-cola stocks ran dry.

During its six months of operations, Vkusno I Tochka said in a statement it has fully recovered from past supply chain problems and adapted logistics, ensuring the "smooth operation" of all its enterprises.

McDonald's shut all its restaurants in Russia on March 14, amid a Western backlash over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. All its outlets were sold to Govor as a local licensee, who initiated a comprehensive rebranding.

Vkusno I Tochka currently operates in 62 Russian regions, with more than 830 venues currently open.