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Big Macs still on sale in Russia despite McDonald’s exit -Breaking


© Reuters. A McDonald’s logo was covered in fabric by a McDonald’s franchisee located at the Finlandskiy railway station, Saint Petersburg (Russia), June 15, 2022. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


(Reuters) Despite the fact that most McDonald’s restaurants in Russia reopened on Sunday, Big Macs are still available at certain McDonald’s locations.

McDonald’s (NYSE 🙂 in May sold nearly all of its Russian 850-restaurants to a local licensee. 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.

Other franchisees, however, have kept their restaurants open and sold authentic McDonald’s food in places that were barely disguised by McDonald’s branding.

Their presence lingers over the Russian actions in Ukraine, highlighting the problems Western companies have to face in separating themselves completely from the Russian market.

At Moscow and St Petersburg train stations, the McDonald’s logo and name were covered in transparent white fabric. The Big Mac was still available but was renamed Bolshoi Burger or Big Burger.

McDonald’s logos appeared on take-out bags in Moscow’s Leningradskiy Station as well as St Petersburg’s Finlandskiy Station. However, the branding of McDonald’s was visible on all packaging.

In March Rival Burger King pulled all corporate support from its Russia restaurants, but they are open and growing in places like central Moscow. Burger King is still struggling to end a complicated franchise agreement

Franchises are also affected by the nuance of McDonald’s. Rosinter Restaurants is the franchisee. It will keep its stations at Moscow and St Petersburg’s airports and railway stations until 2023. Rosinter Restaurants claims that it has a unique agreement with McDonalds.

Everything is changing

Although the Big Mac is no longer available at Rosinter’s restaurants, it can still be ordered in St Petersburg. Diana explained to the cashier that because there were no delivery, fries weren’t available and offered potato wedges instead.

Soft drinks made from soda guns were also sold in the same manner. Coca Cola products were being sold at the restaurant by the bottles. Coca Cola suspended Russian sales and it wasn’t immediately known if any of these violations had occurred. Coca-Cola (NYSE:) had no immediate comment.

A ‘Chicken Premier” box was used to serve the Big Mac, which appeared not to have any of the trademark sauce.

Valentina, the store manager, smiled when she was asked if there were less sauces than usual.

Rosinter claimed it had delivery difficulties due to supply chain disruptions. It stated, “This is only temporary and will resolve as soon as the logistics situation improves.”

Astoria is part of NMGK and could not reach her by telephone. She also did not reply to emails.

McDonald’s declined comment regarding the specifics of Reuters’ reporting. McDonald’s claimed it had exited all markets when it transferred its Russian operations to Govor.