French fries are off the menu for now at rebranded McDonald’s restaurants in Russia.
The new chain, Vkusno & tochka, which translates to “Tasty and that’s it,” has temporarily stopped dishing out the classic side, claiming it’s facing a potato shortage. The restaurants reopened in June under a new name and new ownership, after McDonald’s left the country in May in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Vkusno & tochka told Russian news outlet TASS that a poor harvest last year is to blame. Vkusno & tochka also said it’s “impossible to import from markets that could become temporary suppliers of potatoes for enterprises in Russia.”
Russia’s ministry of agriculture, however, begs to differ. In a statement on Telegram titled “There are potatoes – and that’s it,” a clear nod to the fast food chain’s name, the agency said the country is “fully supplied with potatoes, including processed ones.”
“In addition, crops from the new harvest are already arriving, which rules out the possibility of a shortage,” the ministry wrote on Telegram.
Vkusno & tochka said fries may not return to its menu until fall. It added that its “rustic potatoes,” which are thicker than fries, may also be temporarily unavailable.
In Japan, another fast food giant has made changes to its own menu as it faces a potato shortage.
Burger King restaurants in the country are asking customers to get ramen instead of their usual fries, CBS News reports.