A Russian fast-food franchise called ‘Uncle Vanya’ is looking to capitalize on business left on the table by McDonald’s after the company closed all of its 850 stores in the country.

  • Uncle Vanya filed for a trademark on March 12 with the Russian government, revealing a logo that looks just like McDonald’s famous “Golden Arches” turned on its side. The 90 degrees tilted golden arches form the letter “B” in the Cyrillic alphabet cast in yellow against a red background, corresponding to the “V” in “Vanya.”
  • The budding burger chain, which gets its name from the 19th-century play “Uncle Vanya” by Russia’s Anton Checkhov, is backed by the Russian State Duma and has full support to replace all McDonald’s in the country.

Zoom In: The move comes after the news of Russians stocking up on McDonald’s menu items and forming massive lines at the store two weeks ago as the fast-food chain began pausing sales all over the country due to the Ukraine war. Avito, a Russian auction platform similar to eBay, was swarmed by people trying to sell McDonald’s food from burgers and drinks to individual sauce packets for outrageous rates. In a listing reviewed by the New York Post, one seller sought 104,000 rubles (more than $800) for a McDonald’s cherry pie, while another was charging 50,000 rubles (more than $400) for a “collection of sauces” from McDonald’s.

Zoom Out: McDonald’s was one of the many companies to exit Russia due to the war in Ukraine. The company closed down all 850 locations, a move that would cost around $50 million per month. The fast-food behemoth has announced that it intends to pay its 62,000 Russian employees throughout the shutdown.

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