Staff at the rebranded fast-food chain had scribbled the McDonald’s logo off sauce packets with black pen, Reuters reported, with an image from the Agence France-Presse seemingly confirming this.
Vkusno & tochka, which Reuters translated as “Tasty and that’s it,” opened 15 stores in and around Moscow on Sunday, including what was formerly McDonald’s flagship Russian restaurant in the city’s Pushkin Square.
The chain’s hurried rebranding shows how Govor has tried to strike a balance between operating restaurants that will satisfy customers as a substitute for McDonald’s and not violating the company’s trademarks.
“We don’t have the right to use some colors, we don’t have the right to use the golden arches, we don’t have the right to use any mention of McDonald’s,” Govor told Reuters.
Oleg Paroev, who was named as CEO of McDonald’s Russia in February, and who has continued his role as CEO of Vkusno & tochka, said that the restaurant interiors would remain the same but all traces of the McDonald’s name would be removed, per Reuters.
Reuters reported that the chain largely used plain white packaging for fries and burgers, plain white drink cups, and plain brown paper takeaway bags. This is also evident in some of the photos of products on Vkusno & tochka’s website.
Though some dishes look familiar, Vkusno & tochka has no plans to sells Big Macs and McFlurrys. “These names, these brands, their appearance and production technology” are too directly related to McDonald’s, Paroev said, per the WSJ.
Some other menu items aren’t available because of logistical difficulties, and trade restrictions mean dishes will likely change, Paroev said, per the WSJ. This includes Coca Cola’s decision to suspend sales in Russia, which has left Vkusno & tochka looking for new soft drink suppliers, per Reuters.
The chain sources 98% of its ingredients from within Russia, Paroev told Reuters.
But ultimately the burgers that are on sale contain the same ingredients and are made with the same equipment as when McDonald’s operated the restaurants, Alexander Merkulov, the company’s quality manager, said, per Reuters.
“Our goal is that our guests do not notice a difference either in quality or ambience,” Paroev said at a news conference, per Reuters. He said that Vkusno & tochka planned to reopen all of McDonald’s former Russian restaurants by the end of the summer, with 200 reopening by the end of June.