10 Mar 2022 19:40

Domestic restaurant chains could replace closed McDonald's in Moscow in a year - mayor

MOSCOW. March 10 (Interfax) - Domestic eatery chains could replace around 250 closed McDonald's restaurants in Moscow in a year, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Thursday.

"We've talked with a wide range of enterprises that work in this sector, and we see that in half a year or a year max, this entire chain could be calmly replaced by our own domestic enterprises. The more so as these food products are supplied 99% by Russian suppliers. Furthermore, we'll ask enterprises opening up again to engage that staff potential that works at that very same McDonald's as much as possible. We'll handle other sectors this way and other such kinds of enterprises that are trying to stop their activities and close [restaurants]. We're working in this area together with the [Russian] government," Sobyanin said.

In order to fill niches "that foreign colleagues are vacating," the Moscow authorities have decided to allocate 500 million rubles in preferential direct lending to create additional fast food chains, he said.

"There are special measures directed toward counteracting special closures of those or other enterprises that are closing without any kind of objective conditions. For example you know that the work of McDonald's has ceased for two months. There are around 250 locations that work in the McDonald's system in Moscow. Of course, it's unpleasant - many people have gotten used to going to McDonald's. But one needs to be aware that there are 12,000 public catering enterprises in Moscow, they're all different, work in different areas, but this is a giant network, a humongous network as has never been in Moscow and which was created for the most part in the past 5-7-8 years, and it's a world-class network," Sobyanin said at a meeting with the leaders of Moscow trade and service enterprises.

The U.S. corporation McDonald's said on Tuesday that it was temporarily closing all its restaurants in Russia and suspending all operations on the Russian market over events in Ukraine. McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a letter to employees published on the company's website on Tuesday that McDonald's would continue paying salaries to all its employees in Russia and that the Ronald McDonald House Charities would continue its activities in Russia and Ukraine.