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Russian 'McDonald's' Runs Short of French Fries

Denis Voronin / Moskva News Agency

Former McDonald's restaurants in Russia are facing a shortage of French fries due to a poor harvest and Western sanctions over Ukraine, a business newspaper reported on Friday.

The US fast-food giant announced in May that it would exit Russia in the wake of Moscow's offensive in Ukraine.

A Russian businessman bought the 850-restaurant operation, with the brand now known as "Vkusno i Tochka" ("Delicious. Full Stop").

The restaurant that launched McDonald's in Russia in 1990, heralding Moscow's opening after decades of Soviet rule, reopened in June with a new name and logo.

But now some restaurants of the chain are seeing a shortage of French fries.

"Some of the newly-opened Vkusno i Tochka restaurants will not have any French fries," business newspaper RBC said, quoting the company.

"Vkusno i Tochka" did not immediately reply to a request for comment from AFP.

The shortage has been linked to a poor harvest in 2021 as well as the company's inability to import potatoes from several countries due to Western sanctions.

The company is hoping to see the return of the deep-fried potato slices to the menu of its restaurants in autumn, with the start of the new harvest year. 

The largest producer of French fries in the world, McCain, said in March that it was scrapping plans to build a plant in Russia and suspending all shipments of its products into the Russian market.

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