Russian fast-food chain Vkusno i Tochka has submitted a request to former franchiser McDonald’s for permission to open an outlet in Heihe, China. Vkusno i Tochka, which translates to ‘Just Tasty’, is a rebranded version of McDonald’s in Russia that was created as part of the sale of the US franchise before its exit due to sanctions. The chain offers a similar menu to the original McDonald’s.
Aleksandr Govor, the owner of the Russian franchise, stated that they received a request from the Chinese city of Heihe, which is located across the Amur River from the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. However, there is a clause in the agreement between Govor and McDonald’s that prohibits the opening of restaurants in countries where McDonald’s already operates. Therefore, they need approval from the US fast-food giant to proceed with the expansion into China.
Govor explained that McDonald’s supply logistics do not reach the Chinese backcountry region, leading to a shortage of restaurants in the area. If McDonald’s grants permission, Vkusno i Tochka plans to open up to ten outlets in Heihe. Additionally, Govor mentioned that they have received requests for outlets from several other countries, including Belarus and Abkhazia.
The decision for McDonald’s to sell its business in Russia was made in May 2022 amid intense international pressure after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. The company sold its 800 restaurants in Russia to Govor, who was the local licensee, and the chain was rebranded as Vkusno i Tochka. Govor previously operated 25 McDonald’s restaurants in Siberia.
The value of the deal between McDonald’s and Govor has not been disclosed, but Govor stated that it was significantly lower than the market price. As part of the agreement, McDonald’s retains the right to repurchase its restaurants in Russia within 15 years.
The request to expand into China highlights the success and popularity of Vkusno i Tochka in Russia. With the potential for further expansion into other countries, the rebranded Russian fast-food chain is positioning itself as a viable alternative to McDonald’s. However, the final decision rests with McDonald’s, as they continue to hold the power to grant permission for the opening of new outlets.
As the world of fast-food continues to evolve and adapt to changing markets and consumer preferences, Vkusno i Tochka’s potential entry into China represents a significant opportunity for growth and diversification. It also raises questions about the future of the McDonald’s brand in Russia and its ability to compete with its rebranded counterpart.
Overall, the request for approval to open an outlet in China demonstrates the ambition and determination of Vkusno i Tochka to expand its presence beyond Russia. If successful, this move could pave the way for further international expansion and solidify Vkusno i Tochka’s position as a prominent player in the global fast-food industry.