Many Russians lined up at McDonald’s Moscow units for a last meal from their local restaurant after the world’s largest fast food franchise announced its intention to sell up and leave Russia, the Reuters news agency reports.
As Remix News previously reported, McDonald’s had already decided in March to temporarily close its restaurants across the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These included the iconic Pushkin Square location in central Moscow, which set a world record when it opened on Jan. 31, 1990, after more than 30,000 people lined up for the 3-ruble Big Mac.
“McDonald’s now operates in few places,” 32-year-old Irina told Reuters who was queuing up at the Leningrad railway station in Moscow, from where trains depart north to St. Petersburg. “I miss McDonald’s, so when I go to St. Petersburg, I pop in and treat myself to a Big Mac,” she added.
McDonald’s plans to sell 84 percent of its nearly 850 restaurants in Russia to a local buyer. The future of the remaining restaurants run by franchise partners is not yet clear. New owners will not be able to use Mcdonald’s’ name, logo, branding, and menu.
McDonald’s’ exit will affect approximately 60,000 workers in Russia, who the company hopes will be able to find work at the businesses that will take over the restaurants.