The McDonald's replacement fast food chain in Russia, 'Vkusno i Tochka', which translates as 'Tasty and that's it', is running low on the basic staple of French fries and will be forced to temporarily stop serving them

Russia’s McDonald’s replacement ‘Tasty and that’s it’ stops serving chips due to potato shortage

Russia’s McDonald’s replacement is running low on the basic staple of French fries and will be forced to temporarily stop serving them.

The ‘Vkusno i Tochka’ fast food chain, which translates as ‘Tasty and that’s it’, made a statement to Russian news agency Tass explaining that a poor 2021 potato harvest has hit their ability to serve a variety of fries with their burgers.

The company expects to return to a normal menu by the autumn, they said, but the issue comes mere days after customers posted pictures to social media of burger buns covered in mould.

‘Vkusno i Tochka’ came into existence when McDonald’s Corporation pulled out of Russia in protest at the country’s invasion of Ukraine and sold its franchises to a Russian businessman in June.

The new business reopened on June 12 with a rebranded menu and new staff uniforms and flocks of people queuing around the corner of Pushkin Square in Moscow city centre.

The McDonald’s replacement fast food chain in Russia, ‘Vkusno i Tochka’, which translates as ‘Tasty and that’s it’, is running low on the basic staple of French fries and will be forced to temporarily stop serving them

Customers have complained of mould on the buns of their burgers in several outlets

Customers have complained of mould on the buns of their burgers in several outlets

The new Russian McDonald's, 'Vkusno i Tochka', is remarkably similar to the old American company but has been plagued with supply chain issues that have hit the quality of it produce

The new Russian McDonald’s, ‘Vkusno i Tochka’, is remarkably similar to the old American company but has been plagued with supply chain issues that have hit the quality of it produce

Although uniforms are almost identical to McDonald's worker outfits and the old equipment stayed behind as part of the exit deal

Although uniforms are almost identical to McDonald’s worker outfits and the old equipment stayed behind as part of the exit deal

But less than a month on, the running of the operation is already struggling to fulfil basic demands that McDonald’s customers would expect effortlessly. 

‘Rustic potatoes’, a thicker-cut version of fries may also be unavailable to fast food fans.

The Russian company said that although it tried to source its potatoes from Russian suppliers, it had become impossible to import potatoes from external markets to make up for the shortfall in the domestic crop.

However, the Russian agriculture ministry issued a combative statement on Telegram entitled ‘There are potatoes – and that’s it’ disputing Vkusno i Tochka’s account that it could not source domestic potatoes.

‘The Russian market is fully supplied with potatoes, including processed ones. In addition, crops from the new harvest are already arriving, which rules out the possibility of a shortage,’ the ministry said. 

The Russian agriculture ministry’s statement could be part of a state-wide propaganda effort to downplay or deny completely the impact of Western sanctions on the country’s economy. 

However, it is not the first time that Vkusno i Tochka’s ability to replace McDonald’s operation in Russia has come into question.

Supply chain issues that have plagued the company have been put down to the wide-ranging sanctions placed on the Russian economy in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Earlier this month the fast food chain, which also translates as ‘Delicious full stop’, was caught serving mouldy burgers to fed-up customers, suggesting that it was struggling to source fresh burger buns too.

Russia's re-branded McDonald's restaurants have been caught serving mouldy burgers to fed-up customers after the US chain left the country over its invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s re-branded McDonald’s restaurants have been caught serving mouldy burgers to fed-up customers after the US chain left the country over its invasion of Ukraine

'Insect legs' have also been found in the Russian burgers, to the shock and disgust of customers

‘Insect legs’ have also been found in the Russian burgers, to the shock and disgust of customers

Eaters have complained of mould on the buns of their burgers in several outlets, according to Ksenia Sobchak, a popular TV celebrity and the Russian opposition’s most prominent female politician.

Separately, ‘insect legs’ have also been found in the Russian burgers. 

The first McDonald’s in Russia opened in the middle of Moscow more than three decades ago, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It was a powerful symbol of the easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union.

McDonald’s was the first American fast-food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union, which finally collapsed in 1991.

McDonald’s decision to leave comes as other American food and beverage giants including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks have paused or closed operations in Russia in the face of western sanctions.

Russian businessman Alexander Govor, who ran 25 McDonald’s branches in Siberia, bought all 847 sites off the company in May.

Mr Govor is also a part owner of Neftekhimservis, a construction company which runs an oil refinery.

The fast food giant’s operations in Russia were worth around 9% of its annual revenue, or $2billion (£1.48billion).  

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