Russia's McDonald's Gets Bigger

In May, McDonald’s left Russia in a protest against its invasion of Ukraine. The fast food chain has been in Russia since 1990 and has 60,000 workers. It was one of the US companies that left and gave up some substantial revenue. In its place, a Russian McDonald’s was created. Vkusno i tochka (which is Russian for Tasty and Period) used many of the exact locations.

In a McDonald’s-like move, Vkusno i tochka is about to get bigger. It has registered its tradesman to move into Kazakhstan, according to Reuters. What started as a small chain in Russia is about to get much bigger.

It is hard to say from outside Russia if Vkusno i tochka will find a customer base. Certainly, McDonald’s had one. It has become popular because of its menu, which is fairly close to that used worldwide. And its stores were its stores, similar to the ones in America. (These are the McDonald’s capitals of America.)

Vkusno i tochka is an experiment on whether Russia can replace a popular US company with one based on the same goods or services. It is not just a case of a startup that mimicked an American company. It will be evidence of how important a brand is. Does it matter whether a new and untested brand replaces a widely regarded brand?

If Vkusno i tochka works, it will be tempting for Russian owners to replace US brands that have left. As American companies exit, it may leave a large opportunity behind.

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