Hundreds Of Russians Queue To Try 'Rip Off' McDonald's After Company Pulls Out Of The Country
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Russia's replacement for McDonald's opened today, 12 June, with crowds of hundreds queuing to get in and try the food.
Russia has been hit by harsh sanctions following their unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and few businesses want to be seen still catering to the Russian market.
McDonald's used to operate more than 800 sites across Russia, but since pulling out of the country they have been empty.
However, the fast food giant recently sold everything for an undisclosed fee to Russian businessman Alexander Govor, who operated 25 McDonald's restaurants in Siberia.
The new fast food restaurant, named Vkusno & tochka, or 'Tasty and that's it', has seen queues of hundreds of Russians wanting to get inside.
According to the Daily Mail, once indoors customers would have found themselves in suspiciously similar surroundings, though one man was ejected from the launch day press conference for holding up a sign which read 'bring back the Big Mac'.
The Bic Mac and McNuggets may have been dropped from the menu, but many other parts of the menu appear to be a rip off of standard McDonald's fare.
It's unsurprising considering it's largely the same ingredients cooked in the same kitchens by mostly the same staff who used to work for McDonald's.
In fact, some of the food on sale includes leftovers from the McDonald's days, as BBC journalist Francis Scarr noted that many of the sauce sachets were old McDonald's ones with the 'M' covered up by a marker pen.
Everything from the packaging to employee uniforms looks like a McDonald's rip off, though that appears to be intentional in order to keep things as similar as possible to the way they were.
The main differences are the changes to names of products on the menu and a different logo.
Gone are the golden arches of McDonald's, in their place stands an 'M' spelled out with a burger and two fries, which is slightly odd considering the new name doesn't have an 'M' in it.
While 'Tasty and that's it' plans to expand into all of the almost 850 locations McDonald's used to hold in Russia, only 15 restaurants in the Moscow area were part of the grand opening.
Among the stores reopening under new branding was the Moscow flagship McDonald's that first opened in 1990 and became a symbol in the thawing of relations between East and West.
The wait to get into the new restaurants wasn't quite as long as the queues to make it into that first McDonald's, when thousands of Russians waited in line for more than 90 minutes to get in.