Russian consumers are calling attention to the changes in their favorite fast-food staples made by the local owners who took over the McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) eateries – and it is not a change for the better.
What Happened: DailyMail.com reported that the chain, now called Vkusno & Tochka – roughly translated as “Tasty and that’s it” – have been subjecting their customers to moldy hamburger buns and insect legs within its staple meal.
Other complaints include the lack of meat in cheeseburgers and the use of cheese sauces long past their expiration dates.
Ksenia Sobchak, a television personality and the most prominent female member of Russia’s opposition to President Vladimir Putin, shared photographs of the offending meals on her Telegram account.
“Vkusno & Tochka sells moldy burgers,” Sobchak posted. “It looks like they don’t quite honor the standards of McDonald’s, at least in terms of product quality control. Today at least three cases were recorded of burgers with moldy buns sold to customers. Two of them were for my subscribers.”
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Why It Matters: McDonald’s entered Russia during a post-Cold War period of thawing in U.S.-Russian relations, with the chain’s first restaurant opening in January 1990 in Moscow’s Pushkin Square. At the time the company announced its plans to exit Russia, more than 800 eateries featuring the Golden Arches were operating in the country.
Vkusno & Tochka’s tried to maintain as much of the original menu as possible. However, Reuters reported that several burger offerings including the Big Mac and the chain’s desserts were discontinued, and the new owners needed to scramble for soft drinks because the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) had also pulled out of Russia.
Sobchak chastised the new management for its current problems by stating, “Figure it out, guys, you don’t need to poison people.”
Photo courtesy of Ian Matveev on Twitter
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