Red Meat: American Fast-Food Restaurants Invading Russia

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McMoscow. Photo: Andres Hernandez/Liaison

While fast-food restaurants in the States try to trick woo customers with "healthy" menu options, many chains are realizing that the real money is in Russia, where people aren't into all the local, sustainable nonsense that's so big over here. The Times says potential franchisees are everywhere in Russia, owing to "plenty of demand" from customers there.

Burger King, Carl's Jr., Taco Bell, Subways, and Wendy's have all set up shop, and have big expansion plans. (We'll be so pissed if Moscow gets an In-N-Out before New York does.) Not only are these chains finding customers "unburdened by the hangover of consumer debt that has curbed American purchasing power," but they can also charge more for the same food over there! Says the Times, "The average check at a Russian fast-food outlet — $8.92 according to research by a Wendy’s franchisee here — is significantly higher than the United States average of $6.50."

But wait: You may have noticed one name is conspicuously absent from the list above. What about the Golden Arches? McDonald's is way ahead of the curve here: They opened their first location in 1990 and already have 279 Russian outlets. They're also such badasses that they recently convinced Russia to classify their restaurants as supermarkets so they can pay lower taxes. So they're deep into Russia, is the point. In fact, they're on to the next one, opening a spot in Sarajevo.

Russia Becomes a Magnet for U.S. Fast-Food Chains [NYT]
Related: Why Do People Keep Saying McDonald’s Has ‘Won’ Something?