What is the best thing to replace McDonald's famous Golden Arches? The Russian replacement appears to have orange backslashes.
Russia's invasion in Ukraine caused McDonald's to pull out of the country after over 30 years. This involved pausing operations, searching for a buyer, and "de-arching” its restaurants.
It announced last month that Alexander Govor, the current licensee, would acquire its 850 Russian locations. They will operate them under a brand new aEUR," and retain and pay their 62,000 employees for at least two more years.
On Sunday, the rebranded chain will open its first 15 locations within the Moscow region. Then it will open another 200 throughout the country later in the month. While the new name of the chain is still being revealed, the colorful logo has been revealed. The chain's manager Sistema PBO confirmed the design to the state outlet TASS Thursday.
The logo depicts a small circle in red and two orange lines (aka a pair of fries and a burger) against a background of green. This spokesperson stated that it represents the quality and professionalism of the chain's products. The three shapes look somewhat like an abstract letter "M."
The fast-food service, which will replace McDonaldaEUR(tm)s in Russia, has selected a new logo, a spokesperson with Sistema PBO said:https://t.co/itYvhHYvFBA(c) Sistema PBO Press Service/Izvestia pic.twitter.com/TqrlYzzUXr
It is similar to logos from other brands such as Marriott hotels, Japanese chain Mos Burger and Warner Brothers. Some have compared it with a drowning stick figure and the flag for Bangladesh.
A spokesperson said that the name for the new chain had not been approved yet. According to Izvestia, a state newspaper, the BBC reports that eight names have been submitted by the company to the Russian government agency responsible for intellectual property. These names include "Tot Samyi", which means "The Same One" and "Svobodnaya Kassa," which refers to "available cash register."
Classic menu items will also need to be rebranded. According to the Moscow Times, Filet-O-Fish will now be known as a Fish Burger and burgers will become "Grand" instead of "Royal".
According to Reuters, the McDonald's app changed its name from "My Burger" to "My Burger" on Friday for Russian customers. However, the press team at the McDonald's claimed that the change was temporary. According to reports, the app's homepage featured a slogan that read: "Somethings are changing, but stable labor is here to stay."
Kristy Ironside from McGill University is an economic historian of Russia. She told NPR's All Things Considered, that the departure of the Golden Arches was in many ways just as symbolic as their arrival in 90.
She explained that international newspapers covered the opening Russian's first McDonald's. Images of people lining up at Pushkin Square to eat at the Pushkin square location are a symbol of this moment of transition and Cold War thawing.
Russia is now in a new phase of isolation after McDonald's's withdrawal. Thousands of Western companies have stopped or reduced operations in Russia as a result. Ironside acknowledged that while thousands of workers in agriculture and food service could lose their jobs due to the withdrawal, there are some silver linings for those living in Russia.
She explained that for the more nationalistic types it can be seen as a positive symbol of it going down. There were even people in the '90s unhappy about the fact they had spread so quickly and were, again, proving the capitalist business model.
The chain synchronized its reopening with Russia Day. This national holiday marks the 1990 adoption of Declaration of State Sovereignty of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Sunday marks 108 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.