Will McDonalds still exist in 20 years?

Anniversary - 30 years in Russia

Exclusive: Read the original report (PDF) on the opening of the first Russian McDonald's from foodservice 3/90 by our publisher Gretel WeiƟ.

Opened in the late Soviet Union onJanuary 31, 1990 the first McDonald's in Russia. More precisely: On Pushkin Square in Moscow. The opening was considered a sensation and at the same time a symbol of opening to the West. In terms of dimensions, the project at that time exceeded all previous McDonald's projects.

$ 50 million investment and good14 years of preparation time flowed into the branch on Pushkin Square.30,000 people arrived on the opening day, reports reported waiting up to five hours. And that at initially high prices for the locals: A menu consisting of Big Mac, French fries and Coke cost 5 rubles, which was roughly the daily wage of a Russian worker.

The McDonald's on Puschkinplatz today including the anniversary banner.

Sudden expansion

The expansion plans saw theJanuary 1990 before, initially20 units in Moscow to open. in theJuly 2019 was there alone in therussian capital 284 McDonald's restaurants.Throughout the country was the number according to the annual ranking of our sister magazinefoodservice Russia at689 locations. The success of McDonald's paved the way for thatQuickservice segment in the Russian market and not only for international, but also Russian brands: if you look at itthe 20 largest companies in terms of number of units, there in the year2019 only two who do not focus on quick service. For comparison:2009 were still in the top 20well half of the represented companies in whole or in partCasual dining, occasionally also assigned to fine dining.

McDonald's Russia: Stores in a 10-year comparison

Source: Foodservice Russia, time of counting in July


Also for themPresence of international brands in Russia, McDonald's took on the pioneering role. In theyears followed including Dunkin 'Brands with Baskin Robbins (1992), Yum! Brands with KFC (1993), Subway (1994), Domino's Pizza (1998) and Burger King (2010). In 2019, McDonald's became a "victim of its own success": measured by the number of restaurants on Russian soil, both Yum! Brands as well as Burger King the world market leader.

Comment from Julia Matveeva, editor-in-chief foodservice Russia

Julia Matveeva, now editor-in-chief of foodservice Russia, was eight years old when the first Russian McDonald's opened. She remembers what a whole generation associates with it and what significance McDonald's has for all of Russian gastronomy:
"A whole generation of Russians connected strong, personal feelings With MC Donalds - more than with other QSR brands. McDonald's wasn't just one for us symbol for American fast food, rather for America itself - which was within reach after such a long time, just before the fall of the Iron Curtain. A symbol of freedom and the western world.
Exactly 30 years ago, on January 31, 1990, the first openedMcDonald's restaurant on Pushkin Square in Moscow its gates. This date can be considered the date of birth of the entire modern Russian restaurant industry. The The importance of McDonald's for Russian gastronomy can hardly be overestimated. McDonald's became the first really popular and affordable food service brand in our country. McDonald's showed the Muscovites, and later all of Russia, that you can't just go to a restaurant for a special occasion. But also just to have a snack. And in the In the 1990s, McDonald's was the epitome of quality, in many Russian restaurants the food was terrible.
McDonald's became oneTalent factory for professional and system catering in Russia: In the1990s and 2000s many learned herefuture restaurateurs the basics of the profession. The processes established in the McD system became a template for others. McDonald's developedInnovations andTechnologiesthat later toGold standard for the entire fast food segment.
Much has changed in the Russian hospitality industry in the last thirty years, but one thing remains: MC Donalds is still Idol and Reference point for the whole Restaurant market. We warmly congratulate the company on its anniversary and wish that it will remain a figurehead in the Russian out-of-home market for many decades to come. "