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New owner renames Russian McDonald's 'Vkusno i tochka'

MOSCOW - Former McDonald’s restaurants in Russia have been renamed “Vkusno i tochka” (“Delicious. Full Stop”), the new owner said ahead of their grand re-opening on Sunday (June 12). 

“The new name is Vkusno i tochka,” AFP quoted Mr Oleg Paroyev, the director-general of the new group, as telling a news conference in Moscow. 

Replete with a new logo to replace the Golden Arches, the restaurant on Moscow’s Pushkin Square is at the site where the very first McDonald’s opened its doors to long queues and great fanfare in January 1990. 

The US fast-food giant had announced on May 16 that McDonald’s would exit Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Three days later, Russian businessman Alexander Govor, who had been a licensee of the chain, bought the 850-restaurant operation. 

“I am very proud of the honour that developing this enterprise has given me,” Mr Govor said on Sunday. 

“I am ambitious and I don’t only plan to open the 850 restaurants but to develop new ones.” 

Under the sale conditions, Mr Govor agreed to retain employees for at least two years and fund exiting liabilities to suppliers, landlords and utilities, McDonald’s said. 

The price of the transaction was not disclosed but in announcing its exit, McDonald’s said it planned to take a one-time charge of US$1.2 billion to US$1.4 billion (S$1.67 billion to S$1.94 billion) to write off the investment. 

McDonald’s had employed 62,000 workers in Russia. 

Mr Govor, a licensee since 2015, has operated 25 restaurants in Siberia, AFP reported. 

So, will Muscovites be lining up for a Big Vkusno? With fries of course. Because, you know, potato.

RussiaFOOD AND BEVERAGE SECTORRESTAURANTS/EATERIES