June 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Russian “McDonald’s” – “Tasty – and that’s it”

On Russia Day, Muscovites enthusiastically lined up for a new catering establishment – a substitute for McDonald’s that left the country, which opened its doors for the first time that day.

How it was, tells “New Newspaper. Europe”whose reporters visited the opening on June 12 of the old / new McDonald’s on Pushkinskaya, under the promising name “Tasty – and that’s it.”

In front of the entrance there is a long line of people who want to compare old and new burgers. During the 32 years that the McDonald’s restaurant worked in Russia, until May 16, when it left due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than one generation of Muscovites managed to fall in love with Big Macs, McCombo and McFlury. By the way, as it turned out, they just did not appear in the new restaurant. But more on that later.

In May, after stating that working in Russia was “no longer appropriate and in line with its values,” the company announced its exit. Three days after the closure, it became known that the popular network was acquired by its new owner, Alexander Govor, an entrepreneur from Novokuznetsk. Then, periodically leaking to the media, options for a new name were selected: “Free Cashier”, “Fun and Tasty”, “The Same One”, “Just Like This” and others.

The choice was stopped at “Tasty and point”, but potential visitors learned about it just before the opening, the day before it. The slogan is written on the sign – “The name changes, love remains”, and the cafe itself changed its “color” – from light gray to black. The classic “McDonald’s” “M” logo has been removed and replaced with a round green one featuring two thick orange slashes and a red circle, which is reportedly two sticks of fries and a burger. The responsible person of the new network told TASS:

“The green background in the logo symbolizes the service and quality of the product that our guests are accustomed to.”

By the time of the opening, an impressive crowd had gathered near the restaurant on Pushkinskaya. Accredited journalists – CNN, Russia-24, RT, Al Jazeera, Moscow 24 – were let through. In front of the entrance, a kind of rally was formed, the leaders of which congratulated on the holiday, distributing tricolor ribbons and flags. Before the opening of the cafe, Alexander Govor, the new owner of the chain, spoke to the audience:

“This is a historic place, a great place to start. I am proud that it was me who had the honor to develop this huge business – it means that the company decided that I share all the principles of work and the values ​​of McDonald’s.

Then, to the applause of the crowd, the first people are launched. The queue is guarded by members of the Second Special Police Regiment (2 SPP), which used to disperse protests. There are metal fences around the new cafe, which you have to bypass to get in line. Girls in black T-shirts walk along it and hand out balloons with a burger painted on them, french fries and ice cream in a cone. One of the people in line says:

“I liked the new name. Now I want to see what’s on the menu. They say that what I liked before will no longer be in it – I loved the Big Mac and Sprite. The rest, it seems, should be the same, however, now all products will be ours. I think this is good, because we need to promote Russian manufacturers.”

Within twenty minutes after opening the doors of the restaurant, the line noticeably decreases – more people are allowed inside, and there are not so many new ones at the end of the line. Employees of “Veselo i Dot” ask the audience to stand in pairs, but no one listens to them. A small crush occurs right at the entrance to the cafe: from time to time, the guards remove the red ribbon that holds people back, and they immediately rush inside in a crowd. Employees and security have to reassure them and ask them to wait. The girl in line happily shares her emotions:

“We are for our country, so we cannot but support what they are doing with companies that have stopped working. Left Russia – well, good riddance. Everything that is beneficial to the country is good for me.”

The inner doors of the cafe are simultaneously guarded and held by the same police officers from the 2nd SPP: they are wearing bulletproof vests with attached gas cartridges, and holsters with a pistol on their belts. Inside, guests are greeted by employees, greeting each person who enters with the phrase “Glad to see you again!”. They have “Same Smiles” badges on their chests, probably meaning they’re the same ones they used to be at McDonald’s.

From the first queue, those who entered enter the second, to the cashiers. You can only take food and drinks with you, and all packages, cups and bags are still pristine white, without a logo. Names with the combination “Mac” disappeared from the menu – Big Mac, McCombo and McFlury are no more. And the list of dishes and drinks itself has noticeably decreased: only Coca-Cola without sugar and Lipton iced tea are drinks, there are no juices, branded burgers have disappeared. But the usual sauces remained, however, with McDonald’s logos smeared by hand. HSE freshman Alexander, standing in line at the ticket office, says:

I think the food hasn’t changed, but the price has gone up due to the downsizing of the company, because it was bought out by some Russian millionaire. I think it’s such nonsense. Today I came as part of, let’s say, a one-time action, in order to take part in this patriotic frenzy for fun, to see how it will be, to join history.

Food has really risen in price: earlier, a branded Chickenburger cost 50 rubles, but now it costs 59 rubles. The menu does not contain the promised Chernogolovka lemonades, which were supposed to replace the usual carbonated drinks with imports. While drinking a burger, Alexander complains:

“Cola diluted. Probably the normal one was over, and they decided to dilute it so that it would last longer. Also, this logo is smeared … So-so marketing.

The other company likes the food. A young man named Anton notes:

“The taste is slightly different, it seems to have become juicier and therefore tastier. Probably, either we have lost the habit, or the products have become more natural, because now everything here is definitely ours. My own is always better and tastier, so I like this option more. The opening on the day of Russia is such a symbolism, after all, today is a holiday. A new cafe on this day symbolizes the beginning of something new.”

Oleg Paroev, CEO of the Russian company, said:

“I’m very happy to introduce our new name – Tasty – and that’s it. Big Mac and McFlury ice cream have disappeared from the menu in the new restaurant, but other positions have generally remained unchanged, however, the names of dishes have changed, for example,” Filet-o-Fish became “Fish Burger” and “Royal Burger” was renamed “Grand Burger”.

People who come out with bags and white cups from the converted McDonald’s settle down in the park on benches, or even just on the grass. Next to each are small flags in the colors of the Russian tricolor. An old man says to the children:

“Wait! Finally, we are witnessing the opening of the Russian McDonald’s – just like our parents.

He has a St. George ribbon attached to his backpack. On the same day, another 15 points were opened – in the capital and the Moscow region.

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