Russians Suggest New McDonald’s Names: “Z-Burger, RusDonald’s, MakRus”

Russians have responded to a call to rebrand McDonald’s, which will continue under a new brand in their country.

The fast-food chain was among many Western companies to announce a withdrawal from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, sparking uncertainty about the future of its 850 restaurants and 62,000 employees.

On Thursday, the US fast-food chain announced it would sell its Russian restaurants to Siberian businessman Alexander Govor for an undisclosed sum.

Govor, who already operated 25 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia and is a co-owner of oil company NefteKhimServis, will assume responsibility for the chain’s existing supplies, rents and utilities.

McDonald's in Moscow
The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade has called for a new name for McDonald’s. A man walks past a closed McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow in this picture, May 16, 2022.
Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images

Since the Golden Arches brand will continue under a different guise, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) has called for a new name for the chain to be thought up.

“What will the new network be called?” The ministry announced this in a post on its social media channel Telegram. “The name for the Russian fast food chain has not yet been invented and we would like to hear your suggestions.”

“We will hand over the most creative and interesting ones to the Russian owner,” he added. “Who knows. Perhaps you will become the author of the name that will be on hundreds of restaurants.

People certainly did, and the proposals had a distinctly Russian take on the American brand, though some of them might have been ironic.

A number of people have commented”Macros” (macros), “МакРус” (MakRus) and “do‘ (Mak Nash) refers to the Russian word for ‘our’. “Matroschka”, the name for Russian nesting dolls, was also popular.

“Rosburger”, “RusDonald’s” and “Mashkinfarsh” were among other options, as was “ZBurger”, probably in reference to the letter that has become the symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In an update to its post, Minpromtorg said it received more than 1,500 comments after a “great brainstorm.”

McDonald’s temporarily closed its Russian stores on March 15 amid tough international sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine. The chain has enjoyed a 32-year presence in Russia, beginning with the opening of its first store on January 31, 1990, opposite central Moscow’s Pushkin Square.

One of the first western brands to come to Russia, the opening of the restaurant was considered a seminal event after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This week, videos on social media showed Russians queuing to grab one last meal at one of the few restaurants in Moscow still open before the chain changed hands. “We came here to say goodbye,” said a Russian in a video. Russians Suggest New McDonald’s Names: “Z-Burger, RusDonald’s, MakRus”

Rick Schindler

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