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What War in Ukraine? Russians Are Too Mad About Losing the Big Mac to Worry About Invasion

What War in Ukraine? Russians Are Too Mad About Losing the Big Mac to Worry About Invasion

Under pressure from the West to cease all business in Russia due to Vladimir Putin’s arbitrary invasion of Ukraine, several multibillion-dollar companies shuttered their locations in Moscow. While local independent franchisees scrambled to stay open under the Russian boycott, one company has found a way around the closings: rebranding.

The golden arches signaling that a McDonald’s is just steps away are now gone. The Filet-O-Fish is just called a “fish burger” at the new  “Vkusno & Tochka”, which translates as “Tasty and that’s it,” a typical Russian shrug to governmental change.

 

 

Large crowds gathered outside of the restaurant after Russians had gone months without their favorite American fast-food restaurant. The openings symbolically began on Russia Day, which celebrates national pride to commemorate the declaration of sovereignty in 1990. The new restaurant has a more limited menu: no more McFlurry and some other signature burgers.

However, management maintains that the burgers’ composition has stayed the same, and that they are using the same equipment as when they were a McDonald’s. They’re also using all of the remaining sauce packets with “McDonald’s” and the logo crossed out. However, if the reaction from Russian citizens is any barometer, “Tasty and That’s It” may not exactly have such a golden future if the protests during the grand opening were any indication.

 

It remains to be seen just how successful the new chain will be after McDonald’s exit from the country over the conflict in Ukraine, but it could provide a test of how successfully Russia’s economy can become more self-sufficient and withstand increased Western sanctions. Outside the flagship store in Moscow, crowds were significantly smaller than when the original McDonald’s opened. The outlet sported a new logo of a burger with two fries,  plus a new slogan: “The name changes, love stays”.

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