Over 30 years ago, McDonald’s opened its first Russian location in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, attracting hundreds of residents and stretching lines around the block. For Russians at the time, McDonald’s served as a beacon of Western lifestyle after 80 years of a socialist regime. However, as of May 16, McDonald’s had begun to sell off all of its 850 Russian locations, which once employed an estimated 62,000 people.
“We have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said about the company’s decision. “Our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the arches shining there.”
As the company started to take down McDonald’s branding across Russia, it promised to keep paying employees while seeking a potential buyer.
Two months later, the entire Russian McDonald’s franchise was bought by billionaire Alexander Govor. The first order of business was to replace the name, with Govor’s choice being “Vkusno & Tochka,” or “Tasty and that’s it.”
The universally-recognized golden arches were replaced with a different “M”-reminiscent logo — a circle next to two diagonal lines, representing a burger and fries.
On Sunday, June 12, the first Vkusno & Tochka opened in the very same Pushin Square that debuted the first McDonald’s in the 1990s. Although less monumental, lines of people still waited outside for the opening of the new chain on Sunday.
Reportedly, the restaurant’s interior is essentially the same as before, but the recognizable names of some menu items have changed. Instead of a Big Mac and Fish Fillet, the chain offers generic double cheeseburgers and fish sandwiches at lower prices. According to quality manager Alexander Merkulov, the composition of the menu items has remained the same.
The recently-appointed Oleg Paroyev will serve as the CEO of the chain.
“Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambiance,” he stated.