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McDonald’s franchisee in Russia not to reconsider plans for expansion

August 21, 2014, 20:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Under a deal running until 2023, Rosinter have rights to open and operate McDonald’s outlets at Moscow’s three international airports of Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo

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© ITAR-TASS/Artem Geodakyan

MOSCOW, August 21. /ITAR-TASS/. McDonald’s first-ever franchisee in Russia, Rosinter Restaurants Holding, will not revise its plans to open new restaurants in the country, the company said on Thursday, a day after several branches in Moscow were shuttered by the Russian consumer watchdog.

McDonald’s Corporation partnered with Russia's largest restaurant holding company Rosinter (ROST.MM) in 2012 to franchise out restaurants in Russia.

Under a deal running until 2023, Rosinter have rights to open and operate McDonald’s outlets at Moscow’s three international airports of Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo, as well as in all terminals of Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg. Rosinter, already a franchisee for TGI Fridays and Costa Coffee in Russia, has also acquired the right to develop McDonald’s outlets at Moscow railway stations.

The company launched one McDonald's franchised restaurant at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo airport in 2013 and plans to open another one by the end of 2014, Rosinter spokeswoman Elena Mazur said on Thursday.

“There have been no checks of our McDonald's franchise yet. If there is an inspection, we are ready to pass it. We have a lot of experience of this kind” she said, adding that supervisory body Rospotrebnadzor had recently completed checks of Rosinter’s restaurants. Their results, published on the agency’s website, were positive.

Rosinter Restaurants Holding operates 369 outlets in Russia, CIS, Central Europe, and Baltic countries. The chain has 336 casual dining restaurants, one McDonald's franchised restaurant, and 32 Costa Coffee outlets. The Company offers casual dining Italian, Japanese and American cuisine under its proprietary brands IL Patio and Planet Sushi and its franchised brand TGI Fridays, and it also develops and operates the Costa Coffee chain under a franchise.

McDonald's was the first international fast-food chain to tap the Russian market when it opened at Moscow's Pushkin Square before the collapse of the Soviet Union

On Wednesday, Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor filed administrative lawsuits against four McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow. Snap inspections from August 18-20 revealed many violations of sanitary regulations, the agency said, adding that legal proceedings had begun ahead of court hearings.

Among a Russia-wide network of some 430 outlets, inspections would branch out to other locations, a Rospotrebnadzor statement added.

The McDonald’s Corporation, founded in 1940, is the world’s largest fast-food chain. It has more than 35,000 outlets in 119 countries. McDonald's annual revenue exceeded $28 billion in 2013. The first McDonald's location opened in 1940 in San Bernardino, California.

Russia's first McDonald's opened on Moscow's Pushkin Square in 1990, when it was viewed as a sign that Cold War tensions with the United States were starting to thaw.

McDonald's operates 435 restaurants in 85 Russian cities and sees the country as one of its top seven major markets outside the United States and Canada, according to its 2013 annual report.

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