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Russia: 850 McDonald’s branches sold – Ministry is looking for a new name

Russia: 850 McDonald’s branches sold – Ministry is looking for a new name
Written by insideindyhomes

The burger deal is perfect: the US fast food giant McDonald’s announced on Thursday that the approximately 850 branches in Russia be sold to the Russian licensee Alexander Govor. There was initially silence about the financial details.

Govor already owned 25 stores in Siberia before McDonald’s pulled out of Russia. And now has to give the burger shops across the country a new coat of paint. Because: the branches may not be continued under the brand name McDonald’s.

The Russian Ministry of Commerce is now offering its help and has launched a public call for a name. The US journalist Kevin Rothrock, who writes for the government-critical online magazine “Meduza”, published a corresponding telegram call from the ministry on Thursday.

Rothrock wrote: “Russia’s Ministry of Commerce is asking the public for suggestions on a new name for Alexander Govor, who is buying McDonald’s Russia business. The list includes Rosburger, RusDonald’s, Nashmak, Mashkinfarsh, ZBurger (yum) and more. That is real.”

The “ZBurger” proposal in particular is absolutely unappetizing: in Russia, the Latin letter “Z” is displayed on cars, buildings or on T-shirts to show support for Russia’s war against Ukraine. The symbol is said to stand for “Za Pobedu” – “For Victory”. The symbol is also used abroad and on social media.

In his tweet, Rothrock linked the Telegram call of the Russians and later added: “After 222 replies, the ministry switched off the comment function.” It remains to be seen how seriously the ministry really takes the proposals.

In any case, the participants’ mouths are watering. The Telegram post says: “We will pass on the most creative and interesting (suggestions, ed.) to the Russian owner. Who knows, maybe you will be the namesake for several hundred fast food restaurants in Russia – go ahead!”

Der Telegram-Aufruf des russischen HandelsministeriumsPhoto: Telegram

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The Telegram call from the Russian Ministry of CommercePhoto: Telegram

In addition to the proposals from the public, there are apparently also concrete plans in the background. A clue could be a patent application that was recently filed.

A patent attorney immediately filed a trademark for a logo intended to represent a company that operates “snack bars, a coffee shop, cafeterias, restaurants, self-service restaurants” after the restaurants closed. The name: “Uncle Vanya”. The logo: a McDonald’s logo tilted on its side. The unmistakable “original colors” of McDonald’s – red and yellow – are also used in the application.

Die Anmeldung beim Patentamt in Moskau zeigt das Logo für die Gastro-Kette „Onkel Wanja“. Auffällig: Es ist ein auf die Seite gekipptes McDonald’s-LogoPhoto: Twitter/JoshGerben

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The registration at the patent office in Moscow shows the logo for the gastro chain “Onkel Vanya”. Striking: It’s a McDonald’s logo tilted on its sidePhoto: Twitter/JoshGerben

Russia had also already started the “copying process” for various foods. For example, after Coca-Cola and Pepsi left the Russian market, the local manufacturer Ochakovo began to produce products in the design of the cult brands.

Coca-Cola became CoolCola, Fanta became Fancy and Sprite became Street. All of this while retaining the classic coloring of the soft drink packaging. However: The lettering is no longer curved, they are emblazoned in block letters on the labels.

Could McDonald’s eventually return to Russia?

After the start of the Russian war of aggression, many global corporations, including McDonald’s, put their business in Russia on hold or ended it entirely. However, the Chicago burger giant leaves open whether it could make a comeback on the Russian market in the future.

McDonald’s-CEO Chris Kempczinski schloss eine Rückkehr auf den russischen Markt zumindest nicht ausPhoto: REUTERS

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At least McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski did not rule out a return to the Russian marketPhoto: REUTERS

In a letter to employees, McDonald’s boss Chris Kempczinski wrote: “It’s impossible to predict what the future will bring, but I want to end my message with the same spirit that brought McDonald’s to Russia in the first place: hope. So let’s not end on a goodbye. Instead, let’s say, as it says in Russian: Until we meet again.”

McDonald’s opened its first Russian store in January 1990 – shortly before the collapse of the then Soviet Union.*

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