With a shortage of the potato type needed to make fries, the popular side dish to accompany burgers is off the menu at the “Tasty and That’s It” restaurants which replaced the US fast-food giant.
The company says it expects to have fries back on the menu by the northern autumn, the BBC reports.
McDonald’s joined the exodus of multinational companies after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The American company sold its restaurants to a Russian businessman, and in June several of its outlets reopened under the name “Vkusno i Tochka”, or “Tasty and That’s It” in the English language.
But only weeks after the launch, the popular side dish is in short supply.
The Sistema PBO company that now manages the former McDonald’s restaurants told Russian news agency Tass that last year’s poor harvest impacted supplies of the potato variety needed to make fries.
It also said while it tried to use potatoes from Russia, it had been unable to obtain them from overseas producers.
The first McDonald’s in Russia opened in the middle of Moscow more than three decades ago, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a powerful symbol of the easing of Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union.
McDonald’s was the first American fast-food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union, which would collapse in 1991.
McDonald’s decision to leave came as other American food and beverage giants including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Starbucks have paused or closed operations in Russia in the face of Western sanctions.
McDonald’s said it expects to record a charge against earnings of between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion over leaving Russia.
– Reported with Associated Press
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