The excitement was on the menu when previous McDonald’s restaurants reopened Russia Last month under new management and a new brand, but behind the golden arch throne has 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.
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.
But after customers last week began posting pictures of menus that don’t contain French fries, Vcusno and Tuchka said they will be leaving fries and potato wedges off the menus of some newly opened restaurants until the fall.
She said that although for years she had 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 entire chain’s menu at the start of the next harvest, 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 Barov told Reuters last month that a “significant percentage” of the components were sourced from abroad.
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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