There are no French fries until fall in some Russian McDonald’s

A customer pays for a meal at the new restaurant “Vkusno & tochka”, which opens after the exit of McDonald’s Corp. from the Russian market, in Moscow, Russia on June 12, 2022. REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina

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  • This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The excitement was on the menu when former McDonald’s restaurants reopened in Russia last month under new management and a new brand, but behind the golden throne is facing a problem: a shortage of french fries.

McDonald’s left Russia after the Western backlash against Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, which included a barrage of economic sanctions, and sold all of its restaurants to a local licensee in May.

However, the new ownership now faces problems in securing potato supplies, blaming poor harvests in Russia and difficulty importing potatoes due to supply chain disruptions.

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Under the new name Vkusno & tochka, or “yummy and that’s it,” restaurants began reopening on June 12, and sold nearly 120,000 burgers that day. Read more

But after customers last week began posting pictures of menus that don’t contain French fries, Vcusno and Tuchka said he’ll leave French fries and potato wedges off the menus of some newly opened restaurants until the fall.

She said that while for years she focused on buying ingredients locally, it was now “impossible to import from markets that may have become a temporary supplier of potatoes.”

“Potatoes will return to the full menu at the start of the next harvest season, fall 2022,” she added.

The shortage highlights the challenges facing Russian companies as sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and disruptions to the supply chain complicate importing goods.

Vkusno & Tochka CEO Oleg Baruev told Reuters last month that a “significant proportion” of the components were sourced from abroad. Read more

Despite Vkusno & tochka’s problems, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture said last week that the potato crop would be greater than last year and that the market was “fully supplied with potatoes, including processed potatoes”.

“The new crop is now arriving, which rules out the possibility of a shortage,” she added.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Kevin Levy and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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