The former McDonald’s restaurants in Pulkovo and St. Petersburg railway stations now have their own way and menu. It’s not “Tasty – and that’s it”: here in places it’s almost twice as expensive, but with the missing “Big Mac”, “Mac Flury” … and suddenly beer. On the screens in the halls, a short one is spinning: “Deliciously twisted.”
They are not on the maps: Yandex no longer knows about any McDonald’s at train stations, neither old nor new. Therefore, only the experienced can find a former restaurant of the American chain on the Baltic. There are no hints of the institution either in the hall or on the front doors. I go in, I ask an employee running past in a suspiciously familiar form: “What are you?”. “We are now something in between … between McDonald’s … and Tasty – and that’s it,” the girl answers mysteriously.
The differences are visible to the naked eye. Directly behind the counter is a cupboard full of Stary Melnik. Beer is not completely non-alcoholic. Screens that recently offered Happy Meals with toys are now displaying a warning – “summer foam”, “excessive drinking is bad for your health.”
Also, unlike “Vkusno – and the point”, in the network of which “Big Macs”, “Big Tasty” and McFlury ice cream disappeared from the menu, everything is here. The names were remade by people with an even richer imagination. Now it’s Big Burger, Big Taist and just Flury. And no problems with the rights to sauces and patented technologies that competitors complained about. Cola, by the way, is also not Chernogolovka here, but the real one – in glasses.
And before the cost of meals at McDonald’s at train stations and airports has always been higher than in the rest of the network, but now the prices seem completely unmerciful. “Caesar roll” – 269 rubles, while in “Tasty – and that’s it” – 179 rubles. Caramel ice cream – 139 rubles, while competitors – 84 rubles. Cherry pie – 90 rubles, others – 59 rubles. A large snack box with wings costs 599 rubles, while “Vkusno – period” has 445 rubles.
As a result, a simple order for two easily goes for a thousand rubles. Taste is the same as before. But there are clearly difficulties with packaging – no branding, the rolls are packed in a thick cardboard box, which cannot be opened the first time, and the cherry pie turned out to be completely wrapped in paper, like a cheburek at the station.
The check indicates “Razvitie ROST” LLC. Its actual owner is Rostislav Ordovsky-Tanaevsky Blanco, a Russian businessman from Venezuela, who started with KFC and opened the ROSTIK’S-KFC fast food chain back in 1993. It is also IL Patio pizzerias, Planet Sushi sushi and rolls, Costa Coffee coffee, and TGI Fridays restaurants. Franchise “McDonald’s” with the opportunity to work at the railway stations in Moscow and St. Petersburg, his company received ten years ago.
Shortly after McDonald’s chose GID LLC Alexander Govor as the new owner of the American brand in Russia, the menu in the establishments of the “station” network became very scarce: there were no rolls, cold drinks, ice cream and milkshakes, water, carrot slices and apple slices and more. McCombo, Happy Meal and plain cappuccino are gone. The management wrote off everything on “logistical constraints”.
Restaurants of Rostislav Ordovsky-Tanaevsky Blanco, which continue to work, were obliged to dismantle signs mentioning the brand. In order to continue trading in french fries and further, they also told to sign franchise agreements with the new owner of the network Recommendations they have already followed, and go on your way.
Ilya Kazakov, Fontanka