McDonald’s Sets Sight On Siberia
From being the world’s leading fast food chain, McDonald’s is today battling lawsuits over its obesity-inducing menu as well as the Happy Meal toys. However, amidst all the despair, the chain has sprung a surprise by opening its first restaurant in Siberia. What’s more! The chain will go on opening more than one restaurant east of the Ural Mountains. Considering the fact that Siberia is a cold country where bear meat is considered to be a delicacy, it remains to be seen how the Siberians react to the omnipresent Mcfries and the Big Mac.
McSiberia Is Now Open
The fast food chain will be opening its first restaurant in Krasnoyarsk by the end of next year. However, Viktor Eidemiller, vice president of development for McDonald’s Russia, has more news, “The fast food giant is actively looking into the possibility of opening restaurants in Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Tomsk, and Novokuznetsk.” McDonald’s is already a familiar presence across the landscape of Russia, ever since its entry in January 1990. The first McDonald’s restaurant in Russia came up near the Pushkin Square in Moscow. Since then, the company has employed more than 30,000 employees in European Russia, who have served more than 2 billion meals to customers across 300 locations. Therefore, it is natural, that the fast food giant should not look for some expansion.
However, looking for expanding in the hostile landscape of Siberia is not an easy task. More than the finances or the customers, the move was fraught with logistic issues. Khamzat Khasbulatov, McDonald’s Russia President, explains, “We have to consider the possibilities for obtaining real estate that makes it possible for us to create a chain, so that the logistics and logistics management will be effective.” For its Siberian locations, the McDonald’s has decided to use Kazan, a place located midway between Moscow and the Urals, as its logistics center. Kazan will be the point from where the Siberian locations of the restaurant will collect their food items.
KFC is one of the main rivals of the McDonald’s, not only in America, but elsewhere too. For instance Yum! Brands, which owns KFC chain, has about 200 restaurants in Russia, including 5 locations already in Siberia. However, that is nothing compared to the Subway sandwich chain, which has already overtaken McDonald’s as the fastest-growing chain of restaurants. Subway has 36 locations in Siberia alone. So, you see, the competition is already hot in the cold climes of Siberia and McDonald’s needs to hurry if it wants its share of the market pie.
As for the Siberian expansion, McDonald’s has signed an agreement with Rosinter, which will be its local franchise. The restaurant will open 45-50 new restaurants in Siberia every year. McDonald’s has already performed well in the UK and Russia recently. The fast food chain has always been a struggler in new markets and new market conditions. When the American public showed its anger over the calorie-laden menu of McDonald’s, the chain introduced oatmeal on its breakfast menu. With the Russian market set to grow without the fear of any imminent debt crisis, added to the fact that Siberia has a paucity of fast food restaurants, McDonald’s seems to be set for a long innings.
Image Courtesy: themoscowtimes