REPORT: Russia Will Still Operate MCDONALD’S Chain with Menu and Jobs ‘Preserved’

According to a report from the Russian state-owned news agency TASS, “a source in the company” says McDonald’s, under new ownership, will return to the country in June under a new brand name, but with the same menu and jobs “preserved.”

In a report posted May 16, 2022 (via Moscow-based blogger Riley Waggaman) the Russian state-owned news agency TASS said that “the team, the network of restaurants, and the menu” belonging to McDonald’s will all be “preserved” in the country moving forward. A move that means even after the mega fast-food corporation exits Russia, the chain will remain unchanged, but rebranded and under new ownership.

“McDonald’s will return to Russia in June under a new brand,” TASS’ source, which it refers to as an “interlocutor” (translated), said in the news agency’s report. “The restaurant chain and menu will be preserved, as will jobs. More than 90% of suppliers are Russian, [so] cooperation with them will continue,” the source added, noting that “only the [chain’s] name will go away.”

Indeed, while McDonald’s announced its “exit” from Russia on May 16, 2022—following temporary closures in the country, all in protest of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine—the company says it has already “initiated a process to sell its Russian business.” Now, it sounds like whoever the new owner is will only be changing the chain’s name.

“As part of McDonald’s decision to exit, the Company is pursuing the sale of its entire portfolio of McDonald’s restaurants in Russia to a local buyer,” the chain said in its “exit” announcement. “The Company intends to initiate the process of “de-Arching” those restaurants, which entails no longer using the McDonald’s name, logo, branding, and menu, though the company will continue to retain its trademarks in Russia,” the corporation added. It is unclear who the local buyer is.

TASS reported that on March 10, 2022, Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, announced that “domestic catering chains could replace about 250 McDonald’s restaurants closed… per year.” According to TASS Sobyanin has also said that “authorities of the capital” have decided to allocate 500 million rubles (or approximately $7.65 million) for “preferential targeted lending” in order to create an additional fast food chain.

Feature image: Bruno Girin

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