Logo for chain to take over Russian McDonald’s locations unveiled
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In May 2022, McDonald’s said it would sell its entire 800-plus restaurants in Russia to a local license holder named Alexander Govor. After that announcement, the chain’s locations began seeing a so-called “de-arching,” a reference to the removal of the chain’s famous “golden arches” logo that doubles as an “M.”
The new logo notably carries on the rough shape of an “M” — featuring a red circle reportedly meant to represent a hamburger patty with two petal-like shapes leaning against each other in orange. Those shapes suggest french fries, noted the same report, but some have also noted they could represent heat waves.
The design is set against a deep green background, which is reportedly meant to represent quality.
It was not announced who created the design.
While the name “My Burger” was initially used as a placeholder when the sale was announced, the real new name hasn’t been revealed. Two possibilities reportedly being considered, according to The Moscow Times, are “Tot Samyi,” which means “the same” and “Svobodnaya Kassa,” meaning “available cash register.”
Notably neither name has a word that starts with “M,” though it does not necessarily have to since. In fact, the fact the new design suggests an “M” could be a strategy to create a subtle visual connection to the old design.
Initially, about 15 locations will reopen with the new name around June 12, 2022, which is also a national holiday known as Russia Day.
Govor has ambitious plans — including reopening the rest of the chain under the new name as well as around 200 more restaurants, bringing the total to around 1,000 nationwide.
The chain is expected to carry similar fare as when it was McDonald’s but will need to stop using any of the trademarked names McDonald’s uses for its food, such as “Filet-O-Fish,” “Big Mac” or “Chicken McNuggets.” That latter name represents the common, though not universal, practice of adding “Mc” to the front of food terms to brand products — a phenomenon that has extended, at least in America, to terms meant to refer to things that have a generic, mass-produced look such as “McMansions.”
McDonald’s is branded as “Макдоналдс в России” in Russia (signage often only uses the word “Макдоналдс”), but uses the same golden arches logo that has grown to become one of the most widely recognized brand elements in the world.
McDonald’s, which is based in the U.S. but operates around the world, announced plans to exit the market after Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, making it one of the highest profile and largest scale examples of businesses from around the world cutting ties with the former Soviet country.
The company already announced leaving the market could have up to $1.4 billion in costs.
It was not revealed how much Govor, who already owned 25 formerly McDonald’s branded restaurants in Siberian Russia, paid for the acquisition, which reportedly includes a clause that lets McDonald’s buy back the restaurants in 15 years. The deal is still facing regulatory approvals.