31 Jan: McMoscow

McDonald’s invested $50million to establish an outpost in the Soviet Union, and after 14 years of preparation, their first Russian restaurant opened in Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square on 31st January, 1990.

30,000 residents lined up in the freezing cold to be amongst the first customers to get a taste of America – although the restaurant, at the time the world’s largest, was technically an offshoot of McDonald’s of Canada.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how the Soviet authorities clamped down on ‘burger scalping’; compare and contrast the golden arches with Communist iconography; and explain how it wasn’t just the Big Macs, but the customer service, that felt entirely foreign to the Muscovites…

Photo credit: Alexander Steshanov/МАММ/MDF/russiainphoto.ru

Further Reading:

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