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Travels in Russia

Russian Remonts
Stop Theif!
Almost Worth Staying For
Offshore Your Rubles in Swiss Accounts
Russian Women
You Can Buy Anything in a Russian Kiosk!
What Did Russians Eat Before Potaotes?
Nothing Like a Birch Branch Beating!
Anything Can Be Scrap Metal
Serious Soviet Pollution
Day-Tripping Around the Garden Ring
The Russian Poezd
Yeltsin's Family
Soviet Photography
Happy Times in HTML Hell
Road Runners Rule!
Piva is Good!
A Subaka Says What?
Soviet Swimming
Manly Russian Men
And Peter is a Distant Second
Invest in Russia?!
The Zen of the Line
But He Went by the Name of Lenin
That Looks Just Like My Dom
Russian Adoptions by the Dozen
Internet Cafes Are Everywhere
Going to See Mama Russia
Going to the Movies
Russian Visas
Eta Notebook Batteria, Durak!
Fidelity is Not a Brokerage
Soviet Suburban Living
Taking the tramvai
Cash Transfers Across Russia
Time to go...
Do Your Spring Cleaning Now!
Reclama Nation
Russians Do Tours
Going Local
Pecktopan = Restaurants
Yevgeniy Primakov, Who?
101 Reasons Why NATO's War Sucks
A State Secrect: Women's Ages
Russians Blew up the US Embassy!
It's Dacha Time Again
I Love Me a Starlite Diner
Anything Goes at Night
Yesho Piedesat Gram Vodkoo
Shock Thearpy
IMF & Reform
Zoos Should Be for Politicans
There Was Giligan, And the Skipper Too
The Regions Exist?
Do You Believe the Media?
What is Russian Feminism?
Russian Music Rocks
Yest Klooch?
Addicts Are Addictive
Racism in Russia Too
An Education in Russian Politics
Orphans Are Lonely
Making Bliny
Nasty Newspapers
#51 If you get the jokes
Sick as a Dog
Those Crazy Russians
An Open Road Ahead
Iron Felix
You Can Buy (Almost) Anything in a Market
Education Makes Elections Happen
Ice Cream in Winter
Superstitions Are Sneaky
The Adventures of Flat Jon
Ice Fishing in Sibera
Death is Painful in Any Culture, Anywhere.
Lenin is Alive
Every Thing is Leaking
New Russians
Go Dollar!
Corruption is Endemic
The Joe-Cool Moscow Crew
Taxes Will Find You
I'm Driven Mad
Holidays Last and Last
It's All About Location
Taxies Take You Everywhere
Russian Religion Re-emerges


Russia, March 2, 1999

Bye Bye Fast Food

Without Dunkin Donuts, I'm outta here!

March 2, 1999, Asociated Press via Johnson's Russia List

Dunkin' Donuts Leaves Moscow

RANDOLPH, Mass. (AP) -- Add doughnuts to the list of victims of Russia's economic crisis. Dunkin' Donuts, the Randolph, Mass.-based doughnut and coffee chain, has closed its two shops in Moscow.

Kim Lopdrup, chief executive officer of parent company Allied Domecq Retailing International, said Tuesday the economic crisis led to shutting one downtown shop last week that employed 20. "Sales were impacted by the economic collapse and it simply made sense to cut losses for the short term and return later," he said, adding that sales have been cut in half since August.

He said the other closure was due to a poor relationship with a franchisee who was also peddling liquor and meat pies.

Dunkin' Donuts had been in Moscow about three years, Lopdrup said.

Chicago Sun-Times, February 28, 1999

Big Mac blues in Russia

By Natalia Olynec, Bloomberg News

MOSCOW--McDonald's Corp., whose restaurant on Pushkin Square here remains its busiest worldwide, said it's slowing expansion in Russia after the ruble's 70 percent plunge since August cut many Russians' budget for burgers.

McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant company, said it may open another five restaurants in Russia this year, raising the total to 51, though it has firm plans so far for only one restaurant. That's in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in southern Russia, in May. In 1998, Oak Brook-based McDonald's opened 19 restaurants in Russia. "We're reviewing our plans on a regular basis," said Glen Steeves, chairman of McDonald's Russia. "In September we revised our plans and we'll be very cautious moving forward. It depends on what happens with the economy."

McDonald's, one of the earliest and biggest foreign investors in Russia, has invested about $134 million since it broke ground on its first restaurant and processing plant there in 1989. It will invest about another $7 million if it follows through with plans to open five restaurants in Russia this year.

Russia offers a "tremendous" untapped market for fast-food restaurants, Steeves said. The first restaurant, which opened to much fanfare in 1990 on Pushkin Square, still serves an average 20,000 customers daily. Consumer goods producers such as McDonald's and Pizza Hut were among the earliest foreign investors in Russia, eager to tap a new market of about 150 million people. For most, sales growth was steady as a middle class emerged during the past few years.

Then Russians' incomes plunged in dollar terms when the government defaulted on domestic debts and stopped supporting the ruble in August. Thousands of Russians also lost their savings when banks, the main holders of government bonds, shut, forcing many foreign companies to reconsider investment plans.

In October, Tricon Global Restaurants Inc.'s Pizza Hut chain said it would pull out of Moscow after 10 years there. Candymakers Mars Inc. and Nestle SA said they cut back Russian operations last year, and this month, Royal Grolsch NV, the Dutch brewer, said profit showed little growth in the second half of 1998 in part because of declining exports to Russia.

McDonald's has 46 restaurants in Russia and has concentrated them near Moscow, where incomes are higher than the official national average of 970 rubles ($41) per month. "The food is good and the prices are not too high," said Vladimir Kristev, 35, a businessman eating at a McDonald's restaurant a block away from Red Square. "I think for most Russian people it's very expensive, but for me it's affordable." A Big Mac costs about $1.46 in Moscow, compared with $1.59 in Prague, $2.83 in Frankfurt and $3.10 in London.

McDonald's, which employs about 5,000 in Russia, is testing products that cater to Russian tastes, such as cabbage salad and mushroom soup, Steeves said. Still, he said, the company will wait for the economy to pick up before expanding aggressively. "We're seeing the effect of devaluation in the amount of customers and softening of trends," Steeves said. "It's difficult to say what will happen with the economy. The government is taking things very slowly."

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