“Vkusno i tochka”, the McDonald’s of Russia that tries to satisfy the Russian passion for burgers

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The “new” fast-food network has opened the doors of fifteen restaurants in Moscow. photo EFE

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“I came from Rostov to see how it is now”comments Yaroslav, who along with several thousand Russians came, three decades after McDonald’s triumphant arrival in Moscow and less than three months after its closure in Russia, to discover the national version of this fast food network.

“I hope to eat well and have fun with my friends”, adds the student, amid the cheers of approval from his friends, with whom he patiently waits under the harsh June sun for his turn to enter the first. Vkusno i tochka (Tasty and period)intended to replace McDonald’s.

The “new” “fast-food” network has opened the doors of fifteen restaurants in Moscow, including one on Pushkin Squarein the center of the Russian capital, it has become one of the symbols of Russia’s opening up to the West and the disintegration of the Soviet Union by being the country’s first McDonald’s.

This Monday another 50 restaurants will open and around 200 are expected to open until the end of the month. after which they will open between 50 and 100 weekly throughout Russia, up to over a thousand factories.

Alexander Govor had the franchise of the North American company.  He now does business with Vkusno i tochka.  photo EFE

Alexander Govor had the franchise of the North American company. He now does business with Vkusno i tochka. photo EFE

New image

Despite the summer heat, several thousand Russians gathered in front of the reopened restaurant, decked out with balloons and posters with the new logo – a green circle with a red circle and two orange bars, allegorical to a hamburger and two fries – and a poster that reads “CHe changed the name but not the love “.

“We have come to feel this atmosphere and see what the new McDonald’s will be like.… I mean, no more McDonald’s, ”says Olesia, a student who claims to have been a regular McDonald’s customer.

Sasha humored him, confident that “everything will remain the same, the same atmosphere, a place to share and eat”.

McDonald’s, one of the largest restaurant franchises in the world, has announced its retirement from Russia, where it had 850 storesfor the military campaign in Ukraine.

The business in Russia was bought by the businessman Alexandr Govorwhich already operated 25 factories in Siberia.

McDonald's had 850 locations in Russia.  photo EFE

McDonald’s had 850 locations in Russia. photo EFE

Although Govor did not disclose the amount of the network sale, he assured that it was a “symbolic price”much lower than its market value.

However, he said the buy-sell agreement included a commitment to invest around 7 billion rubles in 2022 alone. (more than 100 million dollars) and left the door open for a possible return of McDonald’s to Russia.

“I am an ambitious person and I hope not only to reopen the previous 850 stores soon, but to keep moving forward,” said Govor during the opening of Vkusno i tochka.

A long line to enter Vkusno I Tochka, in Moscow.  photo EFE

A long line to enter Vkusno I Tochka, in Moscow. photo EFE

The Siberian entrepreneur, who has amassed a fortune in the fossil fuel field, turned to gastronomy in 2014, when he joined the fast food chain and opened 25 restaurants in the city of Novosibirsk.

new network

Now, the main challenge is to bring this new network to life in order to Satisfy Russia’s endless burger appetite and save thousands of jobs across the country, according to the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, on the occasion of the opening of Vkusno i tochka.

“We congratulate you on the opening of the restaurant! We were concerned about you, the fate of the employees, the suppliers, it is a large number of people, tens of thousands,” he said, noting that “hundreds of thousands of people “they appreciate this kind of food.

And it is that Vkusno i tochka, at least for now, It differs little from its predecessor: the crowded room looks like an anthill, customers choose their dishes at the electronic terminals while the employees rush behind the counters and shout the numbers of the ready orders.

Oleg, a former employee of another fast food chain, came on the first day of Vkusno i tochka “to experience this historic momentsee how it comes out, what’s on the menu “.

"Living this historic moment," says a client in Moscow.  photo EFE

“Living this historic moment,” says a client in Moscow. photo EFE

“The menu is the same. For me, as an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic, it is important to have options for choosing the right food. And here I was able to do that,” says Efe.

Although the offer names are different, the menu is practically identical, digital ordering systems do not differ in any way from the previous ones, which allows for quick choice and payment, after which it is sufficient to wait for employees to communicate that everything is ready.

However, while the menu didn’t bring any big surprises at the moment, regulars already miss Big Mac burgers and McFlurry ice cream, as they are registered trademarks of McDonald’s.

According to student Tamara, the renewed offer “has changed slightly, now burgers are richer, juicierThey come with more sauce. “

Source: EFE

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