Rebranded Mcdonald’s assumes the name Vkusno & Tochka, starts operations in Russia

RUSSIA – Vkusno &Tochka, the name of the rebranded McDonald’s business in Russia, has commenced operations under the ownership of Alexander Govor, whose GiD LLC had previously run 25 restaurants.

The rebranding comes after the world’s largest burger chain McDonald’s exited the Russian market bringing an end to a stint that commenced 32 years ago when the company first set foot in the former Soviet Union.

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“Vkusno &Tochka,” which translates to English as “Delicious, that’s all”, has already opened 15 locations in the Moscow region, with another 200 set to roll out across the country later this month.

The chain owner, Alexander Govor, said that he has plans to expand the new brand to 1,000 locations across the country and reopen all the chain’s restaurants within two months.

Govor also highlighted plans of investing up to 7 billion roubles ($121million) this year in the business, which employs more than 50,000 people.

McDonald’s had owned 84% of its nearly 850 restaurants across Russia and it took a charge of up to US$1.4 billion following the sale to Alexander Govor.

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As McDonald’s fully exits Russia, its iconic ‘Golden Arches’ have been taken down at sites in Moscow and St Petersburg to make way for a new logo comprising two fries and a hamburger patty (a small red circle and two orange lines) against a green background.

The spokesperson of the chain said the new logo represents the quality of the chain’s products and services. Altogether, the three shapes somewhat resemble an abstract letter “M.”

In addition, the classic menu items have also been rebranded, such as Filet-O-Fish has been called “Fish Burger” and burgers are known as “Grand” rather than “Royal,” according to the Moscow Times.

“We had to remove some products from the menu because they refer directly to McDonald’s, such as the McFlurry and Big Mac,” Chief Executive of former McDonald’s in Russia Oleg Paroev said.

Prices have risen “slightly” due to the inflation that has hit Russia hard after Western countries-imposed sanctions but they remain “reasonable”, he added.

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A double cheeseburger was going for 129 roubles (US$2.24) compared with roughly 160 roubles under McDonald’s and a fish burger for 169 roubles, compared with about 190 previously.

Paroyev also added that the traditional McDonald’s brand will leave the country but still will continue to retain its trademarks in Russia.

Oleg Paroev pointed out further that other franchisees would have the option of working under the new brand.

Some other menu items aren’t available because of logistical difficulties and trade restrictions, considering that 2% of the chain’s ingredients are only sourced within Russia, which means dishes will likely change, Paroev noted.

This also includes Coca-Cola’s decision to suspend sales in Russia, which has left Vkusno & tochka looking for new soft drink suppliers, according to Reuters, to which has not impressed some customers.

The TASS news agency said on Wednesday that McDonald’s would stay open as usual at airports and train stations in Moscow and St Petersburg until 2023, according to a quoting source close to Rosinter Restaurants, another franchisee.

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