'Nothing has gotten worse': Russia opens rebranded McDonald's

STORY: A new era for Russia's fast-food and economic scene dawned on Sunday (June 12), as McDonald's restaurants flung open their doors in Moscow under new Russian ownership and with a new name, which translates as "Tasty and that's it."

The unveiling of the rebranded outlets, more than three decades after the American burger giant first opened its doors in Moscow in a symbolic thaw between East and West, is a stark sign of a new world order. The reopening's took place on Russia Day, a holiday celebrating national pride.

The fortunes of the chain, which McDonald's sold when it exited the country over the conflict in Ukraine, could provide a test of how successfully Russia's economy can become more self-sufficient and withstand Western sanctions.

On Sunday, scores of people queued outside what was formerly a McDonald's flagship restaurant in Pushkin Square, central Moscow. The outlet sported a new logo - a stylized burger with two fries - plus a slogan reading: "The name changes, love stays."

The queue was significantly smaller than the thousands of people who thronged to the original McDonald's opening there in 1990 during the Soviet era.

Sardana Donskaya, who was dressed in a bright yellow McDonald's-branded T-shirt and wearing a Ronald McDonald badge, had queued up 32 years ago to eat the first U.S. burgers and returned on Sunday to mark its successor.

"The main thing is that the quality remains the same," said Donskaya. "In 32 years, nothing has gotten worse for our country, it is truly amazing."

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