In spite of Western sanctions leaving a bad taste in President Vladimir Putin’s mouth — and the fact that, last year, a full 62 percent of Russians reportedly voted to shut down all McDonald’s locations in the country — McDonald’s has signed a franchise deal to expand into remote regions of Siberia, according to Crain’s Chicago.
Last year, following the annexing of Crimea by Russia and McDonald’s subsequent decision to close all its locations in the region, McDonald’s bore the brunt of some anti-American sentiment, which resulted in the surprise stringent inspection of at least half the McDonald’s locations in the country by a federal watchdog organization.
The last we heard, Russia was also working on its own national answer to McDonald’s, though in the meantime, citizens were reportedly told to get in the habit of eating at home.
A Russian franchisee, GiD LLC, will open approximately 20 new McDonald’s locations in the Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, and Altai regions in the next several years. Presently, McDonald’s has more than 500 locations in Russia, according to the most recent data.