Big Macs In Russia Despite McDonald's Exit

Big Macs remain on sale at some of McDonald Corp's (MCD.N) franchise locations in Russia despite most of its restaurants reopening on Sunday under new branding and ownership. 

McDonald's sold most of its 850 restaurants in Russia to one of its local licensees in May.

Some of those reopened Sunday under the new name Vkusno & tochka, or "Tasty and that's it," offering a new menu without the flagship burger.  

But other franchisees have kept their locations open, selling authentic McDonald's meals in restaurants adorned with barely concealed McDonald's branding. 

Their lingering presence highlights the challenges Western companies face in extricating themselves fully from the Russian market over Moscow's actions in Ukraine. 

The McDonald's name and logo was covered with transparent, white fabric at train stations in Moscow and St Petersburg, and the Big Mac burger was available, though renamed Bolshoi Burger, or Big Burger. 

In Moscow's Leningradskiy Station and St Petersburg's Finlandskiy Station..

takeaway bags still carried McDonald's logos and the U.S. company's branding was still visible on other packaging and electronic menus.  

Rival Burger King halted corporate support for its Russia locations in March but the restaurants remain open and thriving in locations such as central Moscow. Burger King has struggled to break a complex franchise arrangement 

The nuance with McDonald's also concerns franchises. One franchisee, Rosinter Restaurants (ROST.MM), is keeping its locations..

at airports and train stations in Moscow and St Petersburg until 2023, saying it has a "unique agreement" with the American corporation.