Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, it’s been hit with untold sanctions that have all but isolated them from much of the world. Their exports are not being exported. Businesses that were once all over the country have pulled out. That includes McDonald’s, which shuttered hundreds of outposts nationwide. But Russia has found ways to deal with the crippling of their economy. In the case of their long-gone McDonald’s outposts, they simply rebranded.
McDonald's restaurants reopened in Moscow under a new name ‘Vkusno & tochka’ and Russian ownership a month after the U.S. burger giant said it was pulling out over Russia's invasion of Ukraine https://t.co/9VJkGPS91q pic.twitter.com/x6yD9SHLtX
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 12, 2022
A Russian replacement for McDonald's was opened today in Moscow. Many Western brands have left Russia due to the war in Ukraine. Putin says sanctions will boost the domestic economy, but analysts predict tough times ahead for Russia. Our report: with @BBCSteveR & @LizaVereykina pic.twitter.com/G1H9k4KAI0
— Will Vernon (@BBCWillVernon) June 12, 2022
On Sunday, as per Reuters, 200 of the 850 former McDonald’s locations had reopened, this time with a new name: Vkusno & Tochka, which roughly translates to “Tasty & That’s It.” (“Tochka” means “period,” as in the end of a sentence.) The menu, though smaller, is largely the same. The Golden Arches are gone, replaced by a new logo that looks like two fries and a little burger patty. Also MIA are the Big Mac and McFlurry. The Filet o’ Fish is now simply a fish sandwich. There’s also a new slogan: “The name changes, love stays.”
But the composition of the food offerings largely remains the same. According to The New York Times, the Russian McDonald’s are more or less self-sufficient, minus the name and key menu items:
When McDonald’s opened in the Soviet Union in 1990, the Americans had to bring in everything. Soviet potatoes were too small to make fries, so they had to acquire their own russet potato seeds; Soviet apples did not work for the pie, so the company imported them from Bulgaria.
But by the time McDonald’s pulled out this year, its Russian stores were getting almost all of their ingredients from Russian suppliers.
Reuters talked to a teenager who weighed on in how Vkunso & Tochka compares to McD’s. “The taste has stayed the same,” he remarked. “The cola is different, but there really is no change to the burger.”
It’s rare mostly good news for Russia, which has struggled to pull off an invasion that they once thought would be over in a flash. Morale is reportedly so low that soldiers have been trying to set up sham marriages to get out of duty, while President Vladimir Putin himself is reportedly losing what’s left of his sanity. Maybe he can refuel by recreating one of those disastrous menu hacks.
(Via Reuters and NYT)