McDonald’s replacement is now called Vkusno & tochka. The golden arches have been taken down; it’s a fish burger with the Filet-O Fish in Russia, and there are no more Big Macs on the menu.
On Sunday, McDonald’s handed over its stores to new Russian ownership and a name that translates as “Tasty, and that’s it.”
The rebranding of these stores is just another indication of new world order. The restaurant reopened on Russia Day, a holiday honoring national pride.
The recent turmoil in Ukraine and Russia has caused McDonald’s to withdraw from the country, testing how strongly Russia’s economy can become more self-providing and endure Western sanctions.
Sunday’s reopening drew tons of people outside the outlets of what was formerly known as McDonald’s flagship restaurant in Pushkin Square, central Moscow. The store stood with a new logo – a burger and two fries – and a slogan: “The name changes, love stays.”
The line was shorter than the original McDonald’s 1990 opening.
“We need to avoid a drop in quality so that everything stays as it was before because we loved McDonald’s,” stated IT employee Sardana Donskaya, who lined up 32 years ago for a taste of a restaurant that had embodied Western capitalism and came back on Sunday to guide its replacement.
Vkusno & tochka’s menu had fewer items, but they all left your taste buds happy. The Big Mac was not on this list, as well as the McFlurry. Compared to McDonald’s double cheeseburger at 160 roubles and a fish burger at around 190, the items under the new brand cost 129 and 169, respectively.
The new company has kept most of the original elements of the burgers and still uses McDonald’s equipment, according to Alexander Merkulov, the new company’s quality manager.
In March of this year, McDonald’s announced that they were withdrawing from Russia. They closed all their restaurants and left Mid-May as one of the biggest business withdrawals since Moscow attacked Ukraine.
Most of the packaging for fries and burgers was plain white, as well as the drink cups and the takeaway bags were plain brown, indicating that the new owners have been in a rush to rebrand in time for the launch.
A 15-year-old customer named Sergei saw only a bit of difference.
“The taste has stayed the same,” he stated as he dug into a chicken burger and fries. “The cola is different, but there really is no change to the burger.”
Opinions expressed by Artist Weekly contributors are their own.