Thursday, 23 October 2014

Ten McDonald’s Restaurants Closed in Russia

As a result of the mass unscheduled inspections by Russia's public health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, the work of 10 McDonald's restaurants in Russia has been temporarily suspended. On the face of it, the restaurants have been closed because they failed these hygiene inspections, but it is suspected that it is part of Russia's response to Western sanctions that have been imposed.

McDonald's has 451 restaurants in Russia. Since August, Russian consumer protection officials have carried out over 200 safety inspections at various McDonald's premises throughout the country. Even the flagship McDonald's on Pushkin Square in Moscow has fallen victim to these failed inspections.  

Moscow’s first McDonald’s, the first one in Russia or the Soviet Union, was the largest McDonald’s in the world when it opened on Pushkin Square, 31st January 1990.   On that opening day, there was a line of customers of snaking around Pushkin Square. 30,000 customers were served during the restaurant's first day of business, a record for the opening day of a McDonald's restaurant.  The queues to get in would exist for quite some time after the opening, because at the time, it was one of the few places in Moscow where you could dine informally, in comfort, relatively cheaply, and where you would be served quickly by friendly staff. Oh, and it had the best toilets in Moscow!

I went in 1993, and while there weren't any queues to get it, it was still very busy.

View of Pushkin Square from inside McDonald's

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