McDonald’s will relaunch in Russia on Sunday, June 12 — Russia Day, a patriotic holiday celebrating independence under new branding and ownership.
However, its new logo looks similar to the logo belonging to the Mos Burger fast food chain.
The new logo is said to resemble a beef patty next to two French fries. The relaunch will take place at the same flagship location in Moscow’s Pushkin Square where McDonald’s first opened in Russia in January 1990. The iconic “Golden Arches” have been taken down at sites in Moscow and St Petersburg.
The reopening will initially cover 15 locations in Moscow and the surrounding region. The new brand has yet to be named but is eyeing 1,000 locations across the country and is set to reopen all the chain’s restaurants within two months. The relaunch marks the end of an era spanning more than three decades after the arrival of the Western food chain in Russia following the Cold War.
In the early 1990s, as the Soviet Union crumbled, millions of Russians got to sample American food and culture. The brand’s exit is now a powerful symbol of how Russia and the West are once again turning their backs on each other.
McDonald’s in May said it was selling its restaurants in Russia to one of its local licencees, Alexander Govor. The sale was due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on Feb. 24, 2022.
The fast-food giant was among dozens of Western companies, including Coca-Cola, KFC and Pizza Hut, that stopped doing business in Russia after the war started. But it also appears that the traditional McDonald’s will still have a limited presence in Russia in the short term.
As part of the deal, other franchisees would have the option of working under the new brand, but the traditional McDonald’s brand will leave the country. McDonald’s has said it would retain its trademarks.