Foodservice Equipment Reports

McDonald’s Entering Kazakhstan, Reopens Moscow Stores

McDonald’s will enter its 120th global market next year when it opens restaurants in Kazakhstan. The Oak Brook, Ill., chain is working with a local developmental licensee, Kairat Boranbayev, a Kazakh businessman with what the chain called a proven track record of running successful business ventures in the Central Asian country. The first McDonald’s outlet is expected to open during the second half of 2015. Kazakhstan will be the 39th market managed as a part of McDonald’s Europe.

“Kazakhstan offers much development and growth potential, and our agreement with Kairat will enable us to continue to build our brand,” said Doug Goare, president-McDonald’s Europe.  “We’re committed to driving our business by growing same-store sales, opening new restaurants in existing markets and looking at opportunities to enter new markets with development potential.”

In Russia, which saw its first McDonald’s open in 1990, another kind of grand opening took place last week. Ninety days after it was shuttered because of what Russian regulators deemed sanitary violations but others deemed political payback, Moscow’s Pushkin Square McDonald’s reopened on Nov. 19. The store, which was the first McDonald’s to open in Russia in 1990, had been closed by the state food-safety watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, in August.

McDonald’s conflict with Rospotrebnadzor escalated that month when four of its stores were closed because of alleged hygiene violations. The closures came just weeks before a third round of U.S. and EU sanctions for Moscow’s support of Ukrainian separatists.

Rospotrebnadzor since has carried out about 250 inspections at McDonald's locations across the country. The chain currently has 461 outlets in Russia; inspections closed at least 12 restaurants, while Russian prosecutors reportedly also investigated the local Ronald McDonald House Charities.

To meet Rospotrebnadzor’s conditions for reopening, the Pushkin Square restaurant installed a special space for storing burger buns, a refrigerated area for garbage and a new dishwashing machine for washing trays.

Four McDonald's restaurants—three in the southern city of Volgograd and one in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi—remain closed because of alleged hygiene violations. McDonald’s other flagship store in Moscow, on Manezh Square near the Kremlin, is no longer under any legal restrictions and will open in January after renovations are completed.

Related Articles

KFC Enters The Fast Casual Market With “Eleven” Store

Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates