Conflicts & War

Russians say goodbye to McDonald’s on last day in business

Moscow, May 28 (EFE).- Alina and Igor queued on Saturday for over half an hour for their last McDonald’s meal before the iconic American fast-food chain officially closes its business in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

“We waited for a long time, but it was worth it,” they tell Efe.

They are surrounded by dozens of people taking selfies holding their last soda and hamburger at the McDonald’s store in Moscow’s central train station.

From youngsters to teenagers, parents with their children to older adults, it seems like the craving for ‘one last McDonald’s’ has no age limit.

Tatiana and Maxim are in their fifties and confess that McDonald’s is one of their favorite places to eat.

“Lately we didn’t come here much, not like 20-30 years ago when we were kids, but now that they are closing, we had to come and say goodbye,” Tatiana says.

But while the McDonald’s lovers are sad to say goodbye to their favorite fast-food chain, they are also ready to welcome its successor.

After the announcement in May that it would permanently end its business in Russia, McDonald’s 850 stores across Russia were bought by Russian businessman Alexandr Govor, who already operates 25 McDonald’s outlets in Siberia.

The new owner, according to Moscow’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin, will keep the old menu although stores will not replicate McDonald’s iconic logo in its brand.

The new stores are set to open their doors on June 12, coinciding with Russia Day, a national holiday.

McDonald’s was one of the first Western fast-food chains to open a branch in Moscow in 1990, becoming a symbol of the end of the Cold War.

On May 16, the company announced it was permanently exiting the Russian market over the war in Ukraine.

“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,” the company said in a statement. EFE


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