The first McDonald’s (MCD) restaurant in Moscow reopened on Wednesday after closing for nearly a three months over health and safety violations that came as relations between Russia and the United States fell to post-Soviet lows due to the crisis in Ukraine.
McDonald’s Corp’s restaurant, which opened in 1990, closed in late August in what became a string of closures throughout Russia viewed broadly as a retaliation for Western sanctions on Moscow for its role in Ukraine.
The country’s food safety agency, Rospotrebnadzor, said the closures, which came after unexpected inspections, were not related to the Russia standoff with the West.
“McDonald’s continues to work normally,” she said.
The company has 461 restaurants throughout Russia’s vast territory. This year, 45 new restaurants have opened and 25 more are to open by year-end. The growth rate is to remain unchanged next year, Polyakova said.
Long queues have since been typical and some people have even had their wedding receptions there.
On Wednesday, the reception was more subdued, but those who came to the reopening, said they had missed the place.
“When I come here I always ask what is the cheapest. They say it’s hamburgers. And I say, ‘yes, that’s what I like’.”