McDonald’s lawyers in Chicago might be having a good look at its trademarks after its closed Russian outlets re-opened under the new name Vkusno i Tochka, which translates in English to Tasty, full Stop.
In April, Macca’s head office announced it was closing all 847 restaurants in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. It also closed its 108 restaurants in Ukraine for safety reasons. The store closures in both countries predicted to cost the Chicago-based burger giant a whopping $A2.75 billion in lost revenues.
The restaurants were then bought by Russian billionaire Alexander Govor who has rebranded them despite having menu items and decor suspiciously similar to the previous McDonald’s occupants.
Thus far only 15 restaurants have undergone the Vkusno i Tochka transformation, with plans for 200 more openings in the coming month.
Vkusno i Tochka’s logo has been replaced by a fresh one made up of two fries and a “red dot” hamburger patty against a grey background with a slogan that reads: “The name changes, love stays”.
Meanwhile others have pointed out that Vkusno i Tochka sounds terrifyingly similar to the OTR-21 Tochka-U ballistic missile that are currently pounding parts of the Ukraine!
Not that everyone is happy with the new arrangement. Over the weekend, a store opening was interrupted by a protestor with a sign that read “Bring back Big Mac.” It’s not clear if it was a pro-burger statement or an anti-war one!
The protestor was quickly removed by store staff and bundled away from the waiting media throng.
One of Vkusno i Tochka’s first customers at a Moscow outlet, 15-year-old Sergei, said of the food: “The taste has stayed the same. The cola is different, but there really is no change to the burger.”
Oleg Paroyev, the director-general of the rebranded chain, said: “The new name is Vkusno i Tochka.
“Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambiance.”
Meanwhile media outlets have called-out owner Alexander Govor’s close relationship with Vladimir Putin. Govor had previously been a McDonald’s’ franchisee before the company withdrew. It’s not clear what the billionaire paid for the abandoned restaurants.
McDonald’s explained the situation in April, commenting in a statement: “The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable.”
This led to Russians stockpiling McDonald’s burgers and selling them online. Reports at the time had a Big Mac Meal going for as much as $A450.