More than a dozen former McDonald’s restaurants reopened under a new brand and new ownership, accompanied by a marketing blitz aimed at convincing Russians that the new chain’s burgers are as good as the American version.
Officials also used the reopenings—including that of McDonald’s first restaurant in Russia, near Moscow’s Pushkin Square..
to project a narrative of Russian economic resilience in the face of international sanctions and an exodus of Western businesses from the country.
McDonald’s Corp. and other Western companies have pulled out of Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
They have cited a number of reasons for doing so, including the difficulty of doing business in Russia amid the sanctions.
“We will maintain the quality and level of service that guests have become accustomed to over the years,” said Alexander Govor, a Siberian businessman and the new owner, at a press conference ahead of the reopenings Sunday.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin had previously said that the rebranded chain would keep the same menu, staff and standards.
It will continue to use “our chickens, patties, bread, tomatoes and cucumbers,” he said, according to Russian state media.
“We just need to add it all up the right way, package it, and sell it.”