French fries from the menu at a number of Russian successors to McDonald’s until autumn | Russia

Excitement was on the menu when former McDonald’s restaurants reopened in Russia last month under new management and branding, but the successor to the golden-arched throne has a problem: a shortage of fries.

McDonald’s left Russia after a Western backlash against Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, which included a barrage of economic sanctions, and sold all the restaurants it owned to a local licensee in May.

However, the new owner is now facing difficulties in securing potato supplies, blamed for a poor harvest in Russia and difficulties importing potatoes due to supply chain disruptions.

Under the new name Vkusno & Tochka, or ‘Tasty and ready’, the restaurants reopened on June 12 and sold nearly 120,000 burgers that day.

But after customers started posting pictures of no-fries menus last week, Vkusno & Tochka said it would keep fries and hashbrowns off the menus of some of the newly opened restaurants until the fall.

It said that although for years it had focused on sourcing ingredients locally, it was now “impossible to import from markets that may have become temporary suppliers of potatoes”.

“Potatoes will be fully back on the chain’s menu at the start of the next harvest year, autumn 2022,” it sounds.

The deficit highlights the challenges Russian companies face as sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions make it more difficult to import goods.

The chief executive of Vkusno & Tochka, Oleg Paroev, told Reuters last month that “a significant percentage” of the ingredients came from abroad.

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Despite Vkusno & Tochka’s problems, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture said last week that the potato crop would be bigger than last year’s and that the market was “fully supplied with potatoes, including processed potatoes”.

“The new crop is coming now, which rules out the possibility of a shortage,” it said.

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