McDonald's May Live On In Russia With A New Name

Since 1990, when it opened its first restaurant in Pushkin Square in Moscow, McDonald's has been providing fast food to millions of Russians every day. Through three decades of business, the American chain experienced considerable success, but in March 2022, The New York Times reports, McDonald's decided to temporarily halt business. Though McDonald's continued to compensate approximately 2,000 of its Russian employees, keeping its 850 corporate and franchise-owned locations open became too much of a risk in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Only two months later, McDonald's announced the temporary suspension would be permanent, explaining that conducting business in Russia no longer aligned with what the McDonald's brand stood for. "We have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values," CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement shared by The Guardian. "Our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there." McDonald's Russia was promptly put up for sale, and according to CNN, has now been purchased by a local licensee.

There are 4 potential names for McDonald's Russia

McDonald's may be done with Russia, but after three decades of Big Macs and McFlurries, Russians aren't yet ready to say goodbye. Restaurateur Alexander Govor, however, has taken matters into his own hands, CNN shares. Govor operates 25 other restaurants, and after buying McDonald's, he'll be operating 850 more. Though Govor's newly bought restaurants technically have nothing to do with the McDonald's brand, for Russians, it's still a promise of more American fast food, albeit under a different name.

As The Guardian shared, the name McDonald's is still trademarked in Russia, and the company doesn't have plans to give it up. That means Govor will have to pick a different one entirely. For the time being, it hasn't been chosen, but trademarks filed with Russia's Rospatent agency reveal that it's being narrowed down to Fun and Tasty, The Same One, Just Like That, and Open Checkout. Even without the name McDonald's, American fast food will still have a place in Russia.