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Burger War hots up across Siberia as US giants battle for business

By 0 and 0 and 0
23 November 2012


'We're loving it' - so far the only McDonald's in Siberia, in oil-rich city of Tyumen. Picture: The Siberian Times

He sees the burger giant's imminent arrival as a vote of confidence that  Novosibirsk region is open for business. 

'McDonald's presence is like an entry ticket to business and proof that this region runs business in exact accordance to international standards.

'So I consider it very important for the region's image. Now the task is to figure out nice locations with a good stream of people'.

So far McDonald's has only one outlet in Siberia - in oil-rich Tyumen - but it will now find itself in direct competition with rival Burger King as it seeks to expand into one of the few places in the world unconquered by American hamburger chains. 

US fast food giant McDonald's is to open as many as ten restaurants in Novosibirsk region in 2013 in a major push into Siberia

'McDonald's presence is like an entry ticket to business and proof that this region runs business in exact accordance to international standards'.

 Picture: McDonald's in Tyumen,  by The Siberian Times

Last month Burger King announced a major push into Russia having admitted 'we were 20 years late to the game'.

Jose Cil, president for Europe, Middle East and Africa operations for Burger King, recently made clear he has ambitions in Siberia, telling the Moscow Times his company wants 'to capture the market share that nobody's been able to capture yet'.

But he stressed: 'It's not like the race to the moon. What matters is that we actually do it right.'

However, Burger King's local partner Burger Rus expressed a bolder approach. 

'We may be 20 years late into Russia, but we're determined to become the market leader,' said Dmitri Medovoy, general director of Burger Rus, according to Vedomosti.

'Siberia is a priority region for us - it has a high purchasing power and low competition.'

The first Burger Kings were expected to open in Surgut by the end of this year, say reports. 

As for McDonald's, apart from Novosibirsk, it has designs on Krasnoyarsk, which has been tipped as the first new opening. In addition Tomsk, Barnaul and Novokuznetsk as in its sights, part of an agreement with Rosinter.

Russian fast food chains are already widely represented across Siberia and the Far East and Western brands such as KFC - with seven Siberian outlets - and Subway, with almost 50, have had more success than the burger purveyors. 

This, though, is now about to change.

Comments (9)

and you can already see the women of Russia (and the behinds) enlargening as they enter the McDonald's
Igor, Mansfield, England
23/11/2012 09:48
Now why doesn't Russia take a leaf out of Turkey's book and invent its own version of 'fastfood'? The Caucasus and Central Asian cultures have ME type food traditions. They could easily bring out a tastier and healthier alternative to American.Western junk.

Try this link for Turkish fastfood in Germany;

Russia might do well to follow this example with some version of shashlik for instance (Doner shashlik in Siberia?).
Philip, UK
25/11/2012 17:25
@ Kate: fair point
Dominic, L
23/11/2012 22:57
Nothing enlarges your behind as much as sitting in the office all day. If you do move as much as russian ladies do, be it McDonalds or 3 meals of potatoes a day - nothing's gonna harm you!
Kate, Russia
23/11/2012 20:32
This food is horrible, good people of Russia, don't let this crap food become part of your diet, it is not food. Hamburgers made with "Pink Slime" (Animal byproducts) not fit for human consumption laced with chemical preservatives. Don't be fooled by the corporate propaganda, what they sell is not food, McDonald's and Burger King could care less about what you eat. They are only interested in making more and more profit on what they sell. Remember, all advertising claims in America are misrepresentations. Don't be fooled!!!!!!!
Bill, Miami, Florida, USA
24/08/2013 22:20
I would urge the good people of Tyumen to watch the documentary 'Supersize me' before venturing into a Mc Donald's.
Brian , Stevenage, United Kingdom.
14/12/2012 15:12
Oh Siberia ! What a were right to ban this 'food'. It's not too late, don't let this junk in. You're eating natural food at dacha....keep doing so. BIg Macs and Burger Kings, you don't need them.
Emily, NYC
24/11/2012 01:19
The same can be said about international cloth retail companies like ZARA, which last week said it will open 50 new shops in Russia every year. Many of them will be opened in Siberia. In fact. according to ZARA, Russia is its "most profitable market".
Enrique, Spain
09/09/2013 20:47
@Philip there are actually a couple of local fast food chains, so I dont really get the point of people complaining about western chains coming into the market. Local fastfood, being in the privileged position of having no competitors, provides horrible tasting food garnished with the wost service ever. And believe me it's neither healthy nor cheep. So I'd rather stop by good ol' McD - at least you know what're paying for.
Kate, Russia
26/11/2012 16:05

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