30 Jan 2023 10:12

Most former McDonald's restaurants reopen in Kazakhstan

ALMATY. Jan 30 (Interfax) - Former McDonald's restaurants owned by LLC Food Solutions KZ have fully resumed operation in Almaty, Kostanai and Karaganda, the managing company's press service said in a statement.

Twenty-one out of 24 restaurants in Kazakhstan are now open.

"Restaurants in Aktobe and Atyrau will open later this week. The chain's last restaurant in Astana is scheduled to open on June 1, with six out of seven restaurants currently functioning in the capital," the statement said.

The company will soon provide full information about the updated menu and name for the restaurants that have been operating without a name, the press service said.

The fast food chain operated by McDonald's Corp announced its withdrawal from Kazakhstan after six years of work on the Kazakh market. In early January, Food Solutions KZ, which managed McDonald's restaurants in Kazakhstan, said it stopped cooperating with the U.S. brand. According to Bloomberg, McDonald's decided to leave Kazakhstan unable to find Kazakh meat suppliers to replace the products earlier delivered from Russia. The American company prohibited its Kazakh franchisee from buying meat in Russia, sources told Bloomberg. The chain consisted of 24 establishments in Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, Aktobe, Kostanai, and Karaganda.

McDonald's restaurants will continue to work under a local brand after the U.S. brand's withdrawal from the Kazakh market, LLC Food Solutions KZ General Director Aset Mashanov said. There are no talks with the Russian Vkusno i Tochka chain, which replaced McDonald's in Russia, on operations under this brand in Kazakhstan.

The company is working on a new name for the restaurant chain, he said.

Earlier, Vkusno i Tochka chain owner Alexander Govor said that it was impossible to work in Kazakhstan because of agreements with McDonald's.

McDonald's restaurants suspended operation in Kazakhstan in November 2022 due to supply issues. In March 2022, McDonald's franchise owner in Kazakhstan Kairat Boranbayev was arrested on major embezzlement charges, which further complicated the company's position.