McDonald’s hits Russia in new avatar, calls itself ‘Vkusno i tochka’

Last month, McDonald’s had announced its exit from Russian market following the Ukrainian invasion; its local licensee bought the operations

McDonald's original logo on the left and the rebranded "Vkusno i tochka" restaurant's new logo on the right.

US fast food giant McDonald’s returned to Russia in a rebranded new avatar on Sunday (June 12). The former McDonald’s restaurants have been renamed “Vkusno i tochka” (‘Tasty and that’s it’), the new owner Alexander Nikolaevich Govor said.

“The new name is Vkusno i tochka,” Oleg Paroyev, the director-general of the new group, told a press conference in Moscow.

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The first rebranded restaurant opened on Russia Day at the same place – on Pushkin Square in Moscow – where McDonald’s first-ever outlet in Russia was opened on January 31, 1990.

According to an AFP report, “Vkusno i tochka” means “Delicious. Full Stop”.

“Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambience,” Paroyev added.

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The outlet sported a slogan reading, “The name changes, love stays”, according to a BBC report.

“Gone are the Golden Arches, replaced by a stylised letter M, made out of two French fries, and a dot (or, perhaps, a burger?) Gone are the Big Mac and McFlurry,” the report added.

New restaurants

The company, in a press release, said it plans to open 200 branches by the end of June and all branches by the end of the summer.

“If you recall, in May, McDonald’s announced were removing their businesses from Russia. I am very proud that they chose me to continue developing this business. That means the company views me as someone who fully shares all the principles of business and values of McDonald’s,” Govor said at a press conference.

“I won’t hide the fact that I am an ambitious man, and so I am not just going to simply open up all 850 restaurants but I am going to develop new ones as well,” he added.

As per the company, 62,000 former McDonald’s employees were retained.

Although “Vkusno & Tochka” does not offer some of the most recognisable items on the McDonald’s menu – including a Big Mac – customers could still purchase a double cheeseburger for 129 roubles (about $2.30), compared with roughly 160 under McDonald’s, and a fish burger for 169 roubles, instead of about 190 rubles previously, a CNN report said.

Despite some of the menu changes, the composition of the burgers and the McDonald’s equipment remains the same, Alexander Merkulov, quality manager at the new company, was quoted as saying in the report.

McDonald’s exit from Russia

On May 16, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, McDonald’s said, after more than 30 years of operations in the country, it will exit the Russian market. On March 8, it had temporarily closed restaurants in Russia and paused operations in the market.

Later, on May 19, McDonald’s Corporation announced that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with its existing licensee Govor.

Under this agreement, Govor acquired McDonald’s entire restaurant portfolio and operate the restaurants under a new brand. Since 2015, Govor has served as a McDonald’s licensee and has operated 25 restaurants in Siberia.

The sale and purchase agreement provided for employees to be retained for at least two years, on equivalent terms. The buyer had also agreed to fund the salaries of corporate employees who work in 45 regions of the country until closing, as well as fund existing liabilities to suppliers, landlords, and utilities.

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