Russia’s Rebranded McDonald’s Restaurants (Vkusno i tochka) Scribble Out Golden Arches On Sauce Packets

Russia’s McDonald’s restaurants reopened Sunday with a new name, logo, and menu, but the same sauce packets.

Staff at the rebranded fast-food chain scribbled out the McDonald’s logo on sauce packets with black pen, Reuters reported, with an image from the Agence France-Presse seemingly confirming this.

Vkusno & tochka, which Reuters translated as “tasty and that’s it,” opened 15 stores in and around Moscow on Sunday, including what was formerly McDonald’s flagship Russian restaurant in the city’s Pushkin Square.

Alexander Govor, a Russian businessperson, bought Russia’s McDonald’s restaurants after the burger giant said that continued ownership was “no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The hurried rebranding shows how Govor has tried to strike a balance between operating restaurants that will satisfy customers as a substitute for McDonald’s and not violating the company’s trademarks.

“We don’t have the right to use some colors, we don’t have the right to use the golden arches, we don’t have the right to use any mention of McDonald’s,” Govor told Reuters.

The huge lines of people waiting to get burgers in the days before Russian McDonald’s restaurants closed and the hefty price tags for its products on classified-ads sites showed the scale of its bulging Russian market. By clinging on to aspects of McDonald’s menu, branding, and store design, whenever possible, Vkusno & tochka can try win over loyal customers.

The famous golden arches have been scrapped, and Vkusno & tochka has a new logo made up of just one dot and two lines — or a burger and two fries — which appear in the shape of a large “M.”

Oleg Paroev, who was named as the CEO of McDonald’s Russia in February, and who has continued his role as CEO of Vkusno & tochka, said the restaurant interiors would remain the same but all traces of the McDonald’s name would be removed, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that the chain largely used plain white packaging for fries and burgers, plain white drink cups, and plain brown paper takeaway bags. This is also evident in some of the photos of products on Vkusno & tochka’s website.

Though some dishes look familiar, Vkusno & tochka has no plans to sell Big Macs and McFlurrys.

“These names, these brands, their appearance and production technology” are too directly related to McDonald’s, Paroev said, according to The Journal.

Source: Business Insider

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Russian Painting Worth €1 Million Ruined After Bored Security Guard Draws Eyes On Faceless Figures

A painting insured for €1 million has been vandalised by a “bored” security guard who drew eyes on the canvas on his first day of work.

Employees at Russia’s Yeltsin Center have sent Anna Leporskaya’s ‘Three Figures’, painted between 1932-1934, off for restoration after the art was vandalised with a museum-branded ballpoint pen.

Authorities confirmed on 8 February that the work had been defaced by a new security employee aged 60.

The unnamed employee since been dismissed from his position, reports The Art Newspaper Russia, who broke the story.

“His motives are still unknown but the administration believes it was some kind of a lapse in sanity,” the exhibition’s curator Anna Reshetkina said.

Leporskaya’s artwork depicting three faceless figures was on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow so it could feature at the Yeltsin Center’s abstract exhibition, titled ‘The World as Non-Objectivity. The Birth of a New Art’.

Two visitors spotted the addition of eyes on two of the figures during a visit on 7 December 2021.

Criminal proceedings against the employee were initially dismissed due to the assessment that the painting could be saved.

Mounting public pressure has lead to this being reconsidered under the charge of vandalism, which carries a sentence of a €468 fine and a one-year correctional labour in Russia.

The piece was sent to a restoration team at the State Tretyakov the day after the incident and is now being treated.

Restoration is expected to cost around €3,000 but experts are confident the painting can be saved without any serious damage to the original brush strokes.

Ink from the ballpoint pen is said to have only slightly penetrated the paint layer.

The Yeltsin Center confirmed they have installed protective screens over the rest of the exhibition to prevent copycats.

Source: Euronews Culture

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