Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 11 15 - MacDonalds

As noted before the Russian McDonalds is spelled with an extra "a" in the MAC portion. I am no longer the McDs authority that I was in college and cannot remember the last time I was at one of the chain franchises in the US. There is a McDs in Wayne but I don't believe I have ever been inside the building. Regardless I will try and sum up the Russian MacDonalds experience here.

First off, the restaurant is always busy - there are 8 maybe 10 cashiers and every line is a half dozen deep. Everytime I have been to a McDs here it has been packed - yet very efficeint. They have picture menus (like at Denny's) for non-native speakers like myself to quickly point at what we want.

The one near our hood is across the street from the e-center - a huge European shopping mall and draws many shoppers, teens, collegians,and urban families from the mall. Despite the incredible crowds, the restaurant is basically spotless - I also like the European-style seating with hi-top seating and counters that look out from the stores windows.

The Menu is generally the familiar McDonald's menu with a few Russian Touches. The Quarter Pounder has the "Royal" moniker that we all learned about from Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. There is a MacChicken and a Big Mac that all go by those names - The words for Hamburger and Cheeseburger are both the same - Hamburger is a German word - which was brought both to Russian and English.

Russian MacDonalds do carry a special variety of French Fries that Billie Jo said sort of translates to "Country Fries" - which are more like potato wedges with curly fry seasoning - and are quite tasty. The Royal and the McChicken are exactly the same as they are at home - The McChicken may have had a bit more mayo in Russia - everything has more mayo in Russia. There is also a charge for Ketchup in Russia - 15 rubles (roughly 50 cents) for one of those rectangular containers that McDs typically supplies for Nugget Sauces.

Prices are cheap for Moscow but still a bit more then in the US. Sandwiches are in the 160-200 Ruble range.

MakKafe on Arbat (click to enlarge - snapshot taken right before an employee sternly told me that pix weren't allowed - I wonder if that is a McDs regulation stateside)

Attached to any MacDs I have seen there is a MacKafe - which as it's name implies is a full service Kafe - Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate and a very appealing selection of desserts and cheesecakey looking items.

I have also seen MacExpress - which is basically a walk up version of the drive-thru - I have not seen any actual Drive Thrus here.

I think B-Fast foods are a relatively recent concept to much of Russia and MacDs here is still trying to grab their piece of that market - indeed there are 8 different variations of the McMuffin here including double MakMuffins and Fresh MakMuffins (Lettuce Tomatos and Mayo) - I think they also have MakMuffins featuring Chicken.

No comments: